Thursday, April 27, 2006

New route

32 miles on a new route that avoids Scenic Drive.

Uncle Herman is recruiting employees and family members to ride in the Holland Hundred in July - they're paying the entrance fee and providing Herman Miller jerseys. Time to start harassing my co-workers!

Monday, April 24, 2006

First team ride...

Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate worth a toot yesterday, so we did our 24ish miles on the White Pine Trail in 50 degrees and light rain. Yech. Six hardy souls managed the ride, though. Next weekend we do the same thing in the same place; hopefully the skies will not be cloudy and grey. Of course, there's snow in the forecast for tonight - good ol' bipolar Michigan spring weather at its best, as a few days ago it was shorts-and-a-t-shirt weather.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

A familiar loop

I rolled through my standard 30 mile loop in a skoosh under 2 hours, this time with a new computer on the hybrid. I thought my speed seemed to be reading high, but the distance agreed with what I generally get on Ruby.

Incedentally, the hybrid's name is Frank. I asked Dane to name it, so Frank it is. I think it fits. Frank the Trek Multitrack 700 Hybrid.

On to ranting: every time I ride (or, for that matter, drive) on Scenic Drive between Muskegon and Whitehall, I want to scream at whoever's responsible for that road. How can something that's labelled as part of the Lake Michigan Circle Tour, and is named Scenic Drive, be such in such disgraceful condition? I'm not riding Ruby on that anymore, despite it having the best hill (the Blockhouse hill) in West Michigan, and even on Frank, with tires nearly twice as wide as those on Ruby, it was questionable. And now there's a stretch where it's been "repaired" with chipseal patches! A chipseal road is a blight, but at least it's a consistent surface. The chipseal patches start out as humps of gravel, and eventually get mashed down into somewhat less harsh dents in the road surface. It's complete crap.

First team ride is Sunday - I don't know if I'll make it out again before that, as the weather looks a bit questionable for the next few days. My legs are tired anyway.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Google knows all...

Or at least that I did between 15 and 16 miles, via the Gmap Pedometer ( It seems to have become popular - it now has a real URL and is apparently on a dedicated server. I suppose I should get a basic computer for the hybrid, since I'm riding it a few times a week now. It's a good bike for exploring back roads.

The food at the Double J ranch Easter Buffet was excellent, for the most part right up there with the Holland Country Club Mother's Day buffets (only less WASP-y), so without a doubt we'll be back there. Tomorrow is one of our fabled Options Birthday Lunches, where 25 people each bring enough food for 25 people. At the rate I'm going, I'll reach my "ride Ruby" weight goal only if there's a Star Trekkish tear in the fabric of space time and I go back to about 1992. Ah well, it's only April, and my legs feel pretty good.


Saturday, April 15, 2006

It's STILL spring!

'cuz, y'know, sometimes spring doesn't "take" around here, and we drop back into winter.

Anyway, I did about 12 miles on Thursday, got rained on a skoosh, and went out to the end of the pier. A short ride, but good for keeping the legs in touch with their intended purpose.

Today, I rode over to my folks place and met up with one of their neighbor's kids. He's set a goal for himself of riding 30 miles (actually, of riding to Montague for breakfast), and he's wanting someone to ride with once in a while. I'm always up for introducing a kid to my personal addiction, so he and I did about 9 miles together before I headed back home. I guess I finished with about 38 miles, not too shabby for this time of year. I also managed to get a bit of a sunburn on the tops of my thighs - ah, the sun.

Still on the hybrid, though - it's not a disagreeable bike, and I don't mind riding it. For rides where I might hit dirt (or worse - some of the paved roads around here are truly wretched), it's pretty ideal. The front brakes howl annoyingly, but that should be easy enough to adjust away. I might consider some funky randonee or butterfly handlebars for it, to gain some more variety in hand positions.

I'll credit myself with 70 miles for the week - not too bad. As long as the weather holds, I should be able to continue with that kind of mileage pretty easily.

Easter tomorrow, so we're pigging out at a buffet at the Double J ranch. So much for the last few good weigh-ins...

Monday, April 10, 2006

Aaand - it's Spring!

Finally, warmth and dryness combined to create irresistable riding weather, so I emerged, purulent, blinking, and spandexy, into the sun (that's the big bright thing in the sky that we don't see much of between November and April), and lumped my way though about 20 miles. I'm still doing flab-related penance, though, so I did the ride on my Dad's Trek hybrid. It's a bit better to road-ride on than a slick-tired mountain bike, but Ruby's going to feel amazing in another 6 pounds.

Since I haven't put up anything since early January, and my horde of readers (can my parents be considered a horde?) are undoubtedly clamoring to know what I've been up to, a bit of a summary: I did not set butt to saddle at all in the last half of January or at all in February. In March, I put that hybrid on the trainer in the garage and rode while watching movies a few times.

In February, I did do the Park Tool School at Velo City Cycles in Holland. It was great fun and a perfect opportunity to drop a few dead presidents on bike tools. My favorite tool is, hands down, this. Anytime you can make a wrench look like a burger turner, it's gold, baby. It even came in a leather pouch. Anyway, any bike that comes with arm's reach is now gleefully adjusted, and possibly disassembled. My mountain bike now sports new shifters and brake levers, and on the two-minute test ride that I did after completing the fun, they even worked right! I also finagled up a bike workstand out of galvanized steel pipe and a pipe clamp, which was an immensely satisfying way to spend $30.

The planning for the Death Valley ride is in the works, now, with our first group ride being on the 23rd of this month. We have some 60 riders this year, most goiing to DV with a few going to Asheville and a few to the new ride in Montana. Last year we had 26 riders, between Death Valley and Asheville. Yay us!

Note to self: start fund-raising before hurricane season...