You might be addicted to cycling if ....

... you just lost your job but you're happy because you got to wear your new bike shorts for the first time on your ride this morning!
That's right, pilgrims, I'm out of a job as of today. Laid off for financial reasons. I'm glad I bought my road bike already. I wouldn't be able to justify that purchase without an income.
I hope with my next job, I will have time to ride in the morning. Maybe even ride to work. Maybe even ride on my lunch hour. Maybe take every Monday off in the winter to go skiing.
As long as I can ride and keep my bike in repair (or get a new one as needed).
It's nice not having a job. It's that lack of income thing that's the problem. ;-)

Recruit the glute (s)!

This morning I rode out to the Albany Country Club and back, about 16 miles. I warmed up for 10 minutes and then did 15 minutes in Zone 2 (60-70%MHR), 30 minutes in Zone 3 (70-80%MHR), back in zone 2 for 15 minutes and finally a 10 minute cool down. Another beautiful day, 43 degrees, a little busier traffic-wise on this route but no problem.
I read about heels-down pedaling and sliding back on the saddle to involve the glutes more. I have been trying this especially on climbs and it seems to help. Many of the hills that used to be a dread to look forward to are now no problem. That seemed to be the case on this ride. I rode out from the house 40 minutes which put me almost to the country club clubhouse road and back. This is a fairly hilly route and while none of the hills ever caused me a problem they would put my HR over 90%. Not so today. I did notice some lactate burn in my quads while spinning after the hills though. Seemed unusual. I haven't been noticing my quads at all for a long time. Thursday is usually a day off but I thought I'd train right through since I am not doing a long ride this weekend because the Tour de Cure 100K is next week.


As I mentioned, I started doing intervals a la Sally Edwards recommendation in my heart monitor booklet; 10/5/5 x 3, i.e. three sets of 10 minutes @ 50-70%MHR, 5 min @ 70-80 and 5 min @80-100. What I'm actually trying to do is 10 in the 60-70% range, for the 1st interval, that is, zone 2.
I'm really liking this workout. The first set is hard but after that I'm warmed up and diggin' it. I've got a good cruisin' level for the Pzone (80-100%) interval @ about 150bpm, that's 85% MHR for me. Felt really great after this workout. I go out to a flat, quiet farm road (Mead's Lane for you locals) with no intersections and just go back and forth on it for my workout.
The only problem I had was on my way back home after I finished. My chain came off the small cog when I started pedaling up a steep hill. Have to adjust the high limiter tonight after work.
Less than 2 weeks till the Tour de Cure!

Long ride, Chafing and Other Observations ...

I did my "long" ride for the weekend yesterday (Saturday). Sunday is the usual day for me (and it is a much nicer day today, although I can't complain about yesterday) but we are going to the 'tivs this afternoon for a graduation party for a few of the nieces and nephews.
In keeping with my program, I am increasing my weekend ride by five miles per week. This week's ride was 60 miles and I hit it right on the nose; 60.033 miles by my computer. Once again, I rode right from my house in Delmar, 7 miles to the Corning Bike Trail in Albany, another 7 to the end of that trail, 4 miles through the streets of Watervliet, Green Island and Cohoes to the start of the Mohawk-Hudson trail, then to the 30 mile point and back. It was dry Saturday, about 68 degrees, perfect for riding. A little gloomy, with dark cloud cover and wind but it never did rain. Kind of a melancholy day actually. I did OK on this ride although I didn't feel quite as good as last week's 55 miler in the rain. Munched on Clif bars throughout and brought one bottle of Gatorade G2 in addition to my Camelbak of water for electrolyte replacement. I had plenty of energy to spare. It took me just under 4-1/2 hours at an average speed of 13 mph and change. I would say the main limiter at this point is saddle soreness and chafing. I am using $20 biking shorts with a chamois but if they sell $250 shorts there must be some difference or else people are idiots for spending that much. I had less of a problem last week. Maybe I spent more time out of the saddle earlier, I don't know. I hate to pedal out of the saddle 'cause it slows my cadence and runs my HR up. Of course, standing up on the pedals while coasting slows my cadence to zero. I have begun using Queen Helene's Cocoa Butter Hand and Body Lotion. Maybe I should be using straight cocoa butter and bring some along on the ride too. I have also been trying out all the saddles that I have. Right now I am using the stock seat from the Trek 4100. It's a sport seat with no springs and has slightly more "give" than the stock one that came original with the Raleigh.
My calves wanted to spasm more than once on this trip; that's why I brought the G2 drink along. Thought the electrolyte replacement might help. But it's not a real problem yet. Even on the tough climbs. They will start to spasm during one particular part of the pedal stroke but the next millisecond they're OK and it's not continuous either. It'll just happen occasionally for a split second.
Foot numbness tends to be a problem. I just need to get off the bike once in awhile and walk around which I hate to do.
My problem right shoulder is great with the Raleigh. I just realized it when I rode the Ross MTB for about 10 miles later that day. My shoulder immediately started hurting with the Ross and I realized it hadn't bothered me at all while riding the Raleigh on the 60 mile. Must be the handlebars and/or the fit.
I may skip the long ride and higher intensity workouts the week before my Tour de Cure benefit ride for the American Diabetes Association (June 8th). I signed up for the 50 mile but may do the metric century (62.5 mi) instead.

Easy Training ride in Zone 2

This morning was great; dry, sunny and 48 degrees. A few windy gusts but nothing serious. Originally I had scheduled an interval workout such as what I did on Wed.; 3 sets of 10/5/5 in Zone2/3/4-5 respectively. However, I am planning on doing a 60 mile ride tomorrow so based on past experience I decided to take my own advice (for once) and take it easy the day before (today).
So I did a 45 minute ride in (mostly) zone2 with 10 minutes warm up and 10 minutes cool down for a total of 65 minutes and 14.2 miles. I wound up looping several times on a flat stretch of quiet road without stop signs or intersections and avoiding hills in order to keep my HR under Zone 3. This is the first time I've ridden the Raleigh since I got it back from the shop where I had 3 spokes replaced. No wobble now but I was not able to shift into the largest cog on the rear. Probably the derailleur got knocked out of wack when the wheel was removed and replaced. Didn't have a screw driver with me to adjust it but I was fine without the gear for this ride. Definitely need to take care of it before big ride tomorrow. I plan on riding out from the house to the Mohawk-Hudson bike path 30 miles and then back. Supposed to be even nicer tomorrow. High of 68 degrees. Perfect!

Broken spokes!

My how time flies. I see I haven't posted since Monday! Tsk, tsk.
I mentioned previously how I was concerned about rear wheel wobble in both my Ross MTB and my Raleigh road bike. While inspecting the Ross I found 3 broken spokes. Obviously the problem so I removed the wheel and tire and dropped it off with Matt at my LBS, Mad Dog Bicycles.
Then I went home and rode the Raleigh over to the shop (it's only a block away) to ask Matt's opinion about the wobble in it's rear wheel, not as bad as the Ross. Matt called me back later that evening and said there were also 3 broken spokes on the Raleigh! What is going on? Matt asked me if someone was possibly messing with the bikes, a troubling thought.
I was most upset about not having either bike for several days and not being able to ride but Matt repaired both wheels that night and called me 'cause he knew I rode a lot and might need it the next day to ride to work. What a guy! Folks, support your LBS! A website is not going to do this for you.
Anyway, I still have the Trek 4100 MTB (better check the spokes)! I am planning on driving that in to work today 'cause I have to drop the car off at the dealer again and will want to ride it from the dealer's to the office. Hope to also get an hour or so ride in at lunch time down at the bike path.

Locked in on a beam

Sunday was "long" ride day. From the house out along the Mohawk-Hudson bike trail 28 miles and back. A total of 56 miles. In the rain. I've been looking forward to a rainy day long ride 'cause I know those charity rides I'm doing in June are going to go on rain or shine so I want to be prepared. I know I can do it but you don't know until you DO it. It wasn't a downpour but a pretty steady moderate rain. Everything went well. The bike running good. I was concerned about a wobble in the rear wheel and that it might be hitting the brake pad but it didn't seem to be a problem. Also on my last ride I noticed that my achilles tendon was bothering me at about mile 35. I had just changed out the original, hard Raleigh seat with a comfort seat and was wondering if that was causing the problem somehow. I changed the seat to a firmer sport seat that came stock on my Trek 4100 MTB and didn't have any problem on this ride. I was also trying to ride more out of the saddle and shifting back on the saddle on hills to "recruit the glutes".
This was a fantastic ride. I felt great. I nibbled on the Clif bars a little bit a time and that may have helped keep my energy up. No fatigue at all.
There's a stretch on the trail where for several miles it is flat, maybe a slight grade, I can't tell, but I get in a groove, 90 rpm or thereabouts, 75%MHR and I feel like I could go forever. Rain doesn't matter. Really hate to stop to take a bite of Clif bar. Just want to keep goin'.
Like being locked in on some tractor beam. You and the bike and the trail. All one thing. Effortless. Locked in on a beam.

Training ... the next level

My training plan on the bike this year has pretty much followed the user's manual that came with my heart rate monitor. The plan included therein was put together by Sally Edwards of fame. This is a beginner's program and, consistent with my philosophy of "be less than you can be", I considered myself a beginner for the sake of this program (and I AM!) with the exception that I additionally am doing progressively longer rides on the weekends, increasing my mileage by 5 miles per week. Last weekend's ride was 50 miles.
At this point in Sally Edward's heart rate training program, I am in the intermediate segment and able to do 60 minutes in heart zone 3 (70-79%MHR). The next phase is the advanced and consists of a series of intervals as follows: 3 sets of 10 minutes in the "health" zone (50-69%MHR), 5 minutes in the "fitness" zone (70-79%) and 5 minutes in the "performance" zone (80-100%).
I am also looking ahead to doing more varied and focused workouts as described in Edward's and Reed's The Heart Rate Monitor Book For Outdoor and Indoor Cyclists.

Today's Ride
Not sure what to do about today's ride. The weather forecast calls for beautiful weather this AM then light rain and possible thunderstorms this afternoon. My options are, in order of preference, ride with my friend Charles on some ride of his choice or do a 55 mile ride on my usual route out the Mohawk-Hudson trail. I'm also concerned about the rear wheel on my Raleigh road bike. After my ride home from work last Friday, when wiping the bike down I noticed that the rear wheel had a little wobble and seemed to be rubbing the brake pad at a certain point in it's revolution. Of course I could just adjust the brake out a bit but I am worried about how bad the wheel is. I really don't want to spend money on a new wheel or truing and I'm not confident to tinker with it myself (I might make it worse) but with my half and 3/4 centuries coming up I certainly want the bike to be ridable. I'll take a look at it today after church. I'll at least want to adjust the brakes before riding. I have this problem with my Ross mountain bike too. I noticed the rear wheel wobble yesterday and it's even hitting the left chainstay! Oh the trials and tribulations of the cyclist!

MTBMan1's Low-end Product of the Month Review: the dB4LW-C w/wired cadence cyclocomputer by Filzer

For my 60th birthday my wife bought me a new cyclocomputer, the dB4LW-C with wired cadence by Filzer from the Performance Bike catalog.
I don't know what she paid for it but i see that it's going for $29.99 right now and I think I've seen it even cheaper.
The cadence function is wired but every thing else is wireless. Installation is pretty straight forward if you've done a computer before. You basically install one magnet on a spoke on the front wheel for the speedometer and a magnet on the left crank arm for the cadence. Then you install the wireless sensor and transmitter on the left fork and the wired sensor for the cadence on the left chainstay. The alignment is fussy between the magnets and the sensors as I imagine it is for all such devices. They have arrows imprinted on both for alignment as well as for the direction of rotation.
The display is clear and large enough for me to read with my weak close-up eyesight except in dim light. Most daylight is fine even on cloudy days except for the wee hours of the morning before sunrise. The topmost and largest number is the cadence. Below that, your current speed. There are basically 4 modes for viewing. Cadence and current speed show on all the modes. The differences are: 1. distance and elapsed riding time, 2. average speed and maximum speed, 3. clock and odometer and a scan mode which cycles automatically through the other 3 modes every few seconds.
One thing I didn't like with the installation was that it uses cable ties to fasten both sensors and the cadence magnet. It's hard to really tighten these ties securely and I am having a lot of trouble with the cadence magnet and/or sensor shifting around making the reading useless. Today I was spinning over 100 rpms and I saw the cadence reading jump down to 23! My old Spaulding computer uses clamps with screws which tighten down and never shift. Plus if you screw up the positioning it's easy to fix whereas with the small cable ties provided with the dB4LW-C you have to cut them and use new ones. After today's ride I have decided I'm going to either hot glue or super glue the sensors and magnets in place. With the hot glue it would be easier to change the positioning if I needed to at some point.
One other glitch I have observed: sometimes the maximum speed will read something like 68 or 77 mph! That would be nice but I DON'T THINK SO! Also, once or twice I have seen the mileage and elapsed time keep going even after I pulled the computer off the bike! This problem seems to have gone away since I reset the device when I moved it to a new bike with a new wheel circumference. I suppose I could try returning it to the manufacturer under warranty but I don't want to have to be without it for a long time. I really depend on it for my training. I work around the max speed problem by checking the item right after I've done what I know is going to be my fastest hill. It usually doesn't malfunction until sometime later in the ride. Sometimes, not at all. Really, my maximum speed is not that important except to the 10 year old in me! ;-)
Overall I am satisfied with my dB4LW-C. It works for me and I am able to live with the small glitches I mentioned. And the price is right! (Especially since it was a gift!)

Uphill and a headwind ... in both directions!

Don't you ever feel that way? I have. At least riding along the Hudson river here in upstate NY. I'll ride out on the bike trail and it'll be several miles of a slight grade. Not too bad but a steady grind of several miles. I'll think "At least it'll be downhill on the way back." But I swear, on the way back, I won't notice that downhill stretch or maybe I'll have been daydreaming and missed it. Now I know it's a physical impossibility for a path to be uphill in both directions unless it's some evil magic like Cruel Caradras in the Lord of the Rings, dumping snow on the hapless Fellowship or Old Man Willow directing the Hobbit's paths where they don't want to go. However, the headwind thing ... I KNOW this happens. I go out on the bike path along the Hudson at lunch time and there is a headwind when I'm going north, then when I turn around the headwind has switched and is now coming from the South. Maybe this is a normal occurrence at midday along the river.
Today, however, was not like that. In fact there was no wind at all and I was very aware of the natural rise and fall of the roadways. All was as it should be. It's good thing too because it was 50 miles! I rode out from my house in Delmar which is the first suburb west of Albany down to the Hudson River front in Albany where I picked up the Corning Bike Trail. This runs about 7 miles north to south along the river. Then you get back on the road for about 3 miles through the streets of Green Island and Cohoes and pick up the Mohawk-Hudson trail which runs east to west, ride out another eight miles and then turn back. I haven't ridden that entire section yet so I don't know how long it is but I have ridden 20 miles of it to the city of Schenectady, north-west of Albany. It starts up again after you get through Schenectady. The whole thing from the Corning Trail in Albany to where it ends in Rotterdam is about 37 miles depending on who you talk to. My goal is to ride the whole thing out and back again in a day. Add another 14 miles to the total if I start from my house. That's 88 miles.
The 50 miles was no problem endurance wise. I could have kept going but it wasn't in my plan to go more today. The problems I run into are chafing in the shorts, numbness beginning in the fingers at about mile 35 and my right shoulder hurts although that wasn't too bad today. When you get a nice long stretch and you get in a rhythm with your cadence and breathing, heart rate at about 75%, it's sweet. Feel like you could go on forever. You're definitely high on endorphins. But it's a total experience. Being enveloped in the fresh air. Mid-spring budding trees filling the air with oxygen. The swish of the wind over your body. The beauty of the greenery and the solitary path. The constant rhythm of the turning pedals. The energy in your muscles. Sipping water. Munching a Clif Bar. Saying hi to everyone you meet and sharing a secret knowing smile with a few.

Today's (Friday) lovely ride ... and the train!

I just love riding first thing in the morning about 6AM. For one thing, it is so peaceful on the back roads where I go. Very few people are up and going yet. Sometimes I am tempted to wait until later in the day because it is still chilly or at certain times of the year it's still dark (it starts getting light about 5:30 now). Also, I am a real morning person so I like to try to do everything in the morning including taking a long time to get moving. I like to have my first coffee while still in a semi-conscious state (about 1/2 hour). Then while cup #2 is brewing, check my email, current temperature and the weather forecast on the computer. I also like to have a time of meditation and prayer, scripture reading, other book reading and journal 3 pages in the morning. Impossible to do ALL of this EVERY morning and still get to work on time. Actually, I don't think I WANT to do EVERYTHING EVERY morning. :-)
So when I ride, that's about all I have time for. And I'm doing longer rides in the AM too. I was doing a 10.3 mile ride that took me 50 minutes. Today I rode 20 miles in 95 minutes. I had intended to ride 75 minutes, that's 10 minutes warm-up, 55 minutes in zone 3, and 10 minute cool-down. My intended ride for this was out New Scotland South Road, a route I like very much. The problem is that there are 2 fairly active train crossings on that route. As it turned out, this morning I missed getting through the crossing by a matter of seconds. I could hear the train coming as I approached the crossing. The barriers were already down and I could have probably made it through but I just thought it wasn't worth the risk. And the poor conductor would have had a cow! So I thought, no problem, I'll just turn around a go another route. I wound up riding a lot longer because I didn't calculate how far out I should go before turning back. I really enjoyed it but I can feel it now and I want to do a 50 mile tomorrow. Probably should take it easy the day before my long ride. ;-)

Miracle cure!

Cycling has pretty much cleared up a couple of physical problems that have plagued me the last few years. One is the "tweaky knees" which I have posted about before. The other is some lower back pain which x-rays have shown to be some non-refundable deterioration. The first time I tried riding a 25 mile ride, I was concerned about what it might do to my already sore back. By the end of that ride I realized my back didn't hurt at all any more and in fact this pain free state persisted for a couple of days. What I've found is, as I increase my weekly mileage my back has got better and better. One of the staff at an LBS in Albany, The Down Tube, says he's had the same experience. Also, my knees don't bother me on a regular basis either. Previously, I've had to be careful to warm up on the bike until my knees don't hurt with every rev of the cranks. Now they almost never hurt. (I've hesitated to make this post for some time now. When I bragged about this "healing" to my wife a while back, the very next day BOTH knees hurt when I woke up in the AM!)

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaack!

I'll bet you didn't know I went anywhere? I hope not. Blogger disabled my account for a day because their automated "bots" thought my blog was a "spam blog". I was very upset. Fortunately they took care of it in a day but I was worried I might have lost some readers as well as some content. I know if a blog that I read regularly was posting every day then suddenly I received a message that the blog no longer exists, I might just assume the blogger quit abruptly and maybe I would check back once or twice but then again maybe I wouldn't! I have been toying with the idea of buying a domain name and linking to that so that if something like this happens again, I can just redirect the url to a new blog service. Probably not a bad idea. In any event, I'm glad my feed is currently being ported over to so at least my content is being duplicated somewhere. The thought of losing my blog felt like losing a part of my life. Scary! I've put a lot of myself into it, trying to post at least once a day.
It's good to be back!

E-Z Rider

Another beautiful Southern California day here in the Great Northeast! Just a tad chilly here in the AM ... 41 degrees but promising to warm up to 75 and sunny. I dressed just right for it anyway. I was a little bit cool at the start but warmed up nicely even though this was an easy "Healthy-heart Zone" (50-69%MHR) training ride. Tried to stay mostly in the 60-70% range. I did wear my gloves. That was a smart move. I would have held off riding until midday but I have a lunch appointment today. Tomorrow AM, I will ramp it up a bit and do 55 min in the 70-79%MHR range. Looking forward to doing 50 miles on Saturday. Need to do a short fun ride with Mrs. MTBMan1 on Saturday too. Probably after the 50. It will be a good cooldown. Sunday we are going to NH to visit my mother for mother's day. I will check with Charles to see if he is able to ride this Saturday. Sunday afternoon is usually his day.

Everyday riding

I intend to ride my bike everywhere I can as much as possible. For this purpose I setup my Ross MTB as my utility bike.
Took the clipless pedals off so I won't have to change my shoes and bought a lock to secure it when I leave it unattended in a public place. So basically I can just grab it and go without any preparation for errands and such. And if I can get in the habit of wearing pants with elastic cuffs I won't have to put ankle bands on to keep my pants from catching in the chain. Oh yeah, I also have to tuck my shoe laces in so they won't get caught in the drive train.
I took it to the library tonight after supper to pick up a book (Bike for Life by Roy Wallach and Bill Katovsky ... recommended!) and pay a fine. It was such a fine night I couldn't resist a little extra riding and I am glad I did. The scent of all kinds of blossoms and greenery was in the air and the temp was 66. Perfect. I live in such a quiet, pleasant neighborhood with lots of old trees unlike a lot of the developments which frankly are not at all picturesque.
Tomorrow ... back into training with a moderate 1 hour ride, then Wednesday ... the hammer goes back down! Ain't life grand?!

p.s.* I got my O2 Rain Pants

in the mail today from Can't wait for it to rain so I can try them out! Psyched!

* You never see p.s. in a blog post these days, do you? For that matter, footnotes neither.

Worm-smell road and sidewalk riding

Worm-smell road
Today I rode my bike at about 7:30AM before church. It had rained sometime previously. I don't know when but I don't think it was too long ago. Even before I saw them I could smell them. The smell of raw earthworm flesh on the road. Not too many had been squashed yet, it was Sunday morning before much traffic. I tried to dodge them as much as possible. After all, I wasn't trying to break any speed records this morning. It was just yesterday that I rode 45 miles so I needed to be taking it easy anyways. But when passing well fertilized farm-fields (which I can also identify by smell) the number of worms attempting to cross the pavement was overwhelming. I wonder what their need is that makes them do that, lemming-like? Other than that, the ride was pretty uneventful. I did my usual 10.3 miles up along Mead's Lane and back. Quiet and serene, views of the Helderberg escarpment, quiet my soul and help me sort things out.

Sidewalk riding
I was thinking about the ride yesterday. 45 miles from my house in Delmar to the Mohawk-Hudson trail. About half that ride was along city streets. I usually avoid city riding and last year rode the sidewalks as much as possible when riding to work. In fact, one of the reasons I stopped riding for so many years was my dislike of traffic (and loose dogs). When I took up biking again after many years it was with a mountain bike, hence the moniker "mtbman1".
In most cities it is technically illegal to bike ride on sidewalks unless they're designated as bike paths although I have never been bothered by the police about it. And the prevailing wisdom from experienced cyclists is that it's really a bad idea ... not safe and pedestrians in the way besides. On yesterday's ride, I tried riding the roads and staying off the sidewalks. I guess what triggered this was last week's ride with my friend Charles. He didn't ride the sidewalks so I just decided it was time for me to stop doing it. I rather enjoyed it. For one thing, in most cases, the quality of the pavement is much better than the sidewalks. Also, I was able to keep rolling more without having to be careful about people pulling out of driveways or side streets. I guess I feel more confident now, like I belong on the road, an equal citizen with the motorized vehicles. Of course you still have to keep your wits about you. Defensive riding is even more critical than defensive driving. You have to look way ahead and keep an eye out behind too. Unfortunately, a lot of drivers just don't know how to deal with a bicycle in a tight situation. I don't know if it's humiliating to slow down or stop for a bike or what but the biggest danger is when a car tries to squeeze past you with a row of parked cars on your right and oncoming traffic on your left. Rather than slow down or stop until it's clear some drivers will just keep going at speed pinching you between them and the parked cars. And speaking of parked cars you either have to ride with enough clearance for someone to open a door suddenly or keep an eye out for occupied cars.But I found the ride to be a lot more fun by staying off the sidewalks.

I did the right thing!

(apologies to Karl McCracken)
I had planned on doing my big weekly ride today (Saturday) which I normally do on Sunday but we are going to be socializing on Sunday so I grabbed today. The only thing, it was really kind of raw .. wet and nasty (rain) .. this morning and I was already chilled to the bone before I started. But I thought, hey, the charity rides are going to go on rain or shine so I might as well get used to rain just in case it does! So I started out. About a mile into the ride I realized I hadn't switched my tire pump over from the Ross MTB to the new Raleigh. Then I realized I was carrying around the spare tube for the ROSS (26x2.25) and the road bike needs a 27x1.125! Drat! This was about 10 AM and the LBS doesn't open until 11. I turned back. I switched the pump mount over and then went up to the apartment and had some cereal while waiting for the bike shop to open.
At 11, I got to the shop just as Matt was putting his "OPEN" sign out. Got the tube, chatted a bit and then off I went.
I'm so glad I did (I knew I would be. I always am!). I rode from the bike shop about 7 miles into Albany down to the Hudson River where I picked up the Corning Bike Trail. 7 miles of that and I was back on the road in Green Island and then Cohoes where I picked up the Mohawk-Hudson bike trail at about 18 miles. Rode the trail to where it goes back on the road to go under the Twin-Bridges at about the 22.8 mile point and turned back and did the whole thing in reverse. It never did rain and got progressively lighter and drier although it never did actually clear up. I felt great. The bike was great. I did 45 miles. I'm upping my mileage on the big weekend ride by 5 miles at a time preparing for my half-century on June 8th and then 3/4 century on June 28th. I definitely could have done the 50 this time.
I did the right thing!

Computer Wheel Factor - DOH!

I'm actually doing a little better on my average speed on rides than I thought because when I took my dB4LW-C computer off my Ross MTB and installed it on my Raleigh road bike, I forgot to change the wheel factor from the 26x2.125 tires on the Ross to the 27x1.125 tires on the Raleigh. The manual for the computer has a chart that you use to enter a wheel factor to account for different wheel and tire sizes when measuring mileage and speed. The wheel factor is the circumference of the wheel in millimeters with the tire mounted and inflated to max pressure. So, the computer was reading lower mileages and slower speeds than what I was actually doing on the Raleigh. DOH! Better than the other way 'round, though, i.e. me finding out that I'm doing worse than I thought! ;-)

Now my life is complete!

I have my bike computer installed on the Raleigh and it is working, so I have my cadence and mileage and average speed numbers. Sweet.
I rode today. It was 28 degrees out but expected to warm up to the 50s. No biggy. I can dress for it. Plus it was just such a nice morning I couldn't pass it up. Clear and sunny, no wind. I am not going to get a chance to ride during lunch today because I have an appointment with the oral surgeon at 10:30 and then I have to drive 1-1/2 hours down to Poughkeepsie to swap out a bad hard drive in their file server.
I ramped up my training today to 50 minutes in zone 3, that's 70-79% of my maximum heart rate so I rode a new route, essentially extended my 10.3 mile Meads Lane loop to go past Five Rivers Environmental Center down to the end of New Scotland South Rd and then back for a total of 14.5 miles.

Everything was toasty except my toes as usual. My new Pearl Izumi socks did well up until about 27 minutes when I started to feel a little cold in the tootsies. Not bad, all told, though. They didn't get real cold until the very end. Hey, as long as they hurt they're ok, right? You don't want them so you can't feel them. That's when you're heading for frostbite! The socks said "cool" on the package. I couldn't figure if they meant they kept your feet cool in the hot weather or they are designed to keep you warm in the cool weather. I guess the latter since they were livable at 28 degrees.
So anyhow, I did great on this ride. As usual, after the 6 minutes of warm up, as I ratcheted up the HR into zone 3, my legs asked me "why are you doing this?" But I have learned to ignore that and by the end the same HR feels like I'm just cruisin ' .... easy. Of course that's cause the endorphin flow has effectively anesthetized my body from any discomfort at this point. :-)
My average speed was up to 12 from 10 but I am including my warm-up and cool-down time in the total so I am quite pleased. Just over 1 month now to my half-century for the American Diabetes Association!