Say It Ain't So, Shoeless Russ!

Distance: 30.8 miles

Time: 1:32:24

Avg. speed: 19.97 mph

Weather: 54-65º, humidity 82-57%, calm-SSW4

Songs stuck in head: Dust in the Wind - Kansas, Walk On By - Dionne Warwick (wtf?)


Meant to ride with Carl (MRC) to Wawa and back, starting on the Hudson/East Berlin line this morning. I was originally going to ride to the rendezvous point (only 13 miles from home) but slept a little late so I had to pack up the car and drive there. Once I arrived at the parking lot, I got the bike set up, tires pumped, gloves on, helmet on... hey, where's my shoes?

Fook! No shoes! What I was wearing on my feet just would not do for a 50+ mile ride.

Crestfallen, I took off the helmet and gloves, put the bike back in the trunk and climbed back in the driver's seat to wait for Carl. He rode up right on time, took the bad news graciously and went on his way. I motored home, got set up again, put on my delinquent shoes and finally rode off, an hour later than planned.

Since I had wasted a good part of my time window driving to and from the rendezvous spot, I had to cut my ride short. So, I decided to try to channel my frustration into power output and rode my "DD" route (~30 miles) as hard as I could.

I made it to the bottom of the Stow Rd. climb in 45 minutes flat, with an average speed a bit above 20 mph. I felt very strong going up, especially the last few hundred feet when got out of the saddle and "sprinted" to the top. Time up was 5' 40", I think a personal best. I was able to keep my speed up across Pinnacle and the little rises leading to the Oak Hill descent. I kept the pressure on for the trip down, achieving a top speed of nearly 38 mph.

I didn't exactly bound my way up Taylor Street but maintained a pace that increased as I went up. I was really able to open it up as I went down the other side on Liberty Square Road and then onto Summer/Central in Acton. Even on 27 south towards home, I didn't feel like I was burning out as I went along, pushing as hard as I could.

Turning the corner onto my street, I initiated a "finish sprint", getting up to 27 mph that I maintained until I passed my driveway. Sheesh, just a whisper below a 20 mph avg. speed for the whole ride! Avg. HR for the ride was 157 BPM – sure didn't feel like it was up that high. Cadence avg. was 98 RPM, right where I want it.


It seems that the long layoff did me some good, if today's effort was any indication. The last two days of tune ups/maintenance appear to have finally rid the bike of the various creaks/clicks/squeaks it's been plagued with.

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