Friday, April 19, 2013

Uniontown to Creston Populaire

I did the Uniontown to Creston Populaire route again last night. Ever have one of those days where you just can't get excited or motivated to workout? That's what I was going through yesterday. I've been dealing with bronchitis, torn up feet, and a couple other minor injuries. Forecast.......82! 20-25 mph sustained from the South with a decent chance of a thunderstorm in the evening. I quickly got my riding clothes on and got out the door before making an excuse and not getting the ride in.

I hit up the Rite Aid in Uniontown and filled up my bottles with water. I would describe the ride to the first control as mainly windy! I was unable to get any shelter from the wind. It was relentless.

Yours truly fighting back the pukies!

The ducks and fishermen were out in abundance on Nimisila Reservoir.

During my entire ride, I saw two other riders. I guess the wind and chance for thunderstorms scared everyone off. The grass is turning green again and trees starting to bud.

The route goes through a small community called Rittman. There really isn't much there except the bike path, a drive thru, and the Morton Salt Company.


Within a couple miles of getting to Creston (the turnaround point), I heard a train coming so it was go time. Sprint to the tracks and beat the train!

This is what Creston looks like. There are about six small buildings and a gas station. I really hate Subway, but I was feeling quite ill and not feeling up to par. I gobbled down a chicken salad like a ravenous zombie stricken the desire to eat more brains.

I wasn't quite sure if I could even make it back. But I thought to myself "this is another fine mess I've gotten myself into". Wifey wouldn't be to happy coming out, so I had better start pedaling. Mental note for the future: when rushing out the door and knowing you will be riding in the night - pack the clear lenses for the glasses. Doh!

Sunset over Nimisila. By the time I got home it was 9:00. It wasn't an impressive performance by any stretch of the imagination, but the ride got done...........and on some days, that's all that matters.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Ohio Rando 200k - Grove City, Circleville, Mechanicsburg

It was once again time for another Ohio Randonneur brevet. This ride be 200k in distance and in the form of a large circle route starting in Grove City and then proceeding to Circleville and Mechanicsburg. By 'Biking Bob' standards, this is a relatively flat course. The forecast of the day was: starting temp of 40, a high of 52-55, winds @ 20-25 from the South West and a 40% chance of a thunderstorm. Knowing that we had a long drive ahead of us, my riding partner Rich slept over Friday night. We agreed that a 3:30 wake up call would be necessary so that we could arrive with ample time to get our gear ready. Good thing! A bridge on our way down was closed and required a detour.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Uniontown to Creston Populaire

Yesterday was my first inaugural ride of the Uniontown to Creston 116k Populaire ride. The ride has 3,500 feet of climbing. While not excessively hilly, those that are on the route are challenging and long (there are some over a mile long). The route traverses through the City of Green, Canal Fulton, New Franklin, Doylestown, and Rittman to the turnaround control in Creston. The temp was in the upper 60s with 20-25 MPH sustained wind and gusts up to 35-40; perfect riding weather for randonneurs.

Monday, April 1, 2013

104km Battelle-Darby-New Holland Populaire

Last Saturday was the unofficial start of the Ohio Randonneurs season with the 104km Battelle-Darby-New Holland Populaire ride. The ride was unofficial because it doesn't count towards a Super Randonneur series, but it gets the Ohio Rando brethren together to ride and battle the early season elements. This particular route was fairly flat, esp. by Biking Bob standards with only 1,500 feet of elevation.

My riding partner extraordinaire Rich arrived at my house @ 5:30 promptly. We quickly loaded his gear into the Rando-bus (aka Subaru Outback) and started the 2.5 hour drive to the South side of Columbus. During the drive, we got caught up on riding stories, stuff that's happened since the last season in our personal lives, reviewing techno music, and our tentative plans for the 1200k we are doing later in the summer. Rich being the crazy man he is, has already logged a 200 & 400k ride in this season.

We got to the starting point about an hour early. We unloaded the bikes from the bus griping about how cold it was - a toasty 27 degrees. We were both debating how many gloves to wear, whether to ride winter riding boots or shoes with covers, etc. Rich was fairly impressed with my new bike & setup, a Specialized Tricross Elite Disc Comp. Bob arrived early getting everyone signed in, handing out control cards and returning cards from last season. Just prior to leaving, I swapped my boots out for Keen cycling sandals and some wool socks. Rich insisted I was crazy. But with bunions and the chance for the temp to climb into the 50s, I just kinda said screw it. A couple minutes later, we were off @ 9 AM.

The first thirty minutes was cold, but tolerable with a head wind from the South\SouthWest between 8-10 MPH. With each passing hour, it was obvious the day was gonna be a relatively warm one. By 10:30 we did a two minute pit stop to strip off excess layers to prevent over sweating. I started riding on the drops cranking heavily to increase our avg speed. I looked back and saw that Rich was falling back a little bit. When he caught back up, he insisted that I take off without him. I said "You're my riding partner, so I stay with you. What am I going to do? I can leave until you come back..." with a grin. Rich said "set us a 17 MPH avg"; and with that we were cranking out the miles while taking in the rural views.

We were arriving at the first control when the first main group was leaving. We quickly got our cards stamped and were off again. The return route was extremely easy since the wind was at our back. It was easy to maintain our 17 MPH avg for the majority of the way to the next control point. During this leg, we were chased by a fairly large and fast dog. He had no issues maintaining 22 MPH - which prompted us to increase our speed further. At the next control, we found several Rando riders in the parking lot enjoying a lunch in the sun. The temp was now in the mid 50s. We got our control cards stamped. Rich ate another sandwich and I parted with two bananas. Rich commented on how little I was eating and wanted to know what I ate for breakfast. "1/4 cup of egg beaters". Rich started giving me an ear full about needing to eat a lot more while riding; so I promised at the 200k I would eat more. I got into a conversation with a local priest until we had to go.

The last leg of the ride had a couple rollers but was still fairly easy. The temp got up to 60 degrees (thank god I wore the sandals and not winter boots) and we arrived back at the starting point in 4:15 even. Easy ride day to log some miles and see some of the local riders again. Next up is the 200k in two weeks.

To quell the concerns from Rich about me not eating, we hit up Popeyes for a cholestrol filled chicken lunch on the way home. We arrived home early enough so that Rich could make it to a rave party. Woot!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Blogging, Or There A Lack Of

I haven’t been blogging in the longest time. Several events transpired that left me physically or mentally unable to really blog nor open up about.

Last year, one of my resolutions was to not break any bones. Goal accomplished. I didn’t suffer a single broken bone in 2012, but I did however suffer a bad injury. I was doing a local 100 mile bike club ride in which the route nor the queue sheet wasn’t marked particularly well regarding turns at the end of long down hills. I hit pretty hard on a 3 wheel recumbent. Thankfully I broke the fall for the bike, so it got away unharmed. I had a really bad case of road rash. Fast forward a week and a half, and I suffered a blot clot in my lower right leg. Excruciating pain. Several weeks of down time.

I got my beak, aka nose, fixed over the summer after Rando season slowed down. Can’t say I enjoyed the recovery much, but at least I can breathe better through the nasal passages. Doc. repaired the grossly deviated septum and hacked down the turbinates.

Shortly after this, my mom was in and out of hospitals for roughly four months with multiple compression fractures, had contracted a fairly lethal form of pneumonia typically only found in hospital settings and other health issues. After dealing with these ailments for several months with no improvement, she called in quits with continuing medical treatments and let nature take its course. It’s very hard to lose a parent regardless of circumstance, it sucks more when they are still fairly young and simply lose the desire to live. Naturally my dad has and continues to have a hard time adjusting. It’s hard to deal with the loss of a loved one after 30+ years of marriage.

I continued to have more than normal sinus drainage. The sinus drainage has been something I seem to have acquired in my middle aged years. A local Ear, Nose and Throat specialist recommend that I get endoscopic sinus surgery. The surgery basically involves the doctor going in with a roto-rootor tool and hogging out the sinus nasal passages so that the sinuses basically become very dry. I got the surgery on New Year’s Eve, had a miserable recovery and have had to get my sinuses sucked out a couple times. Knock on wood, the one good thing is that I have not had a single sinus infection since the operation. Previously, I would have had one or two by March. I’m still hoping that the current drainage slows more or stops completely.

So the 2nd half of 2012 was less than desirable and I’ve been dealing with a variety of personal issues. My only resolution this year is to blog at least once a week. I have a decent schedule of rides planned this year, so there should be ample to write about. I picked up a new bike, so expect more on that soon.