The Buff

I'll take back what I said about the Buff as balaclava.
I checked their website instructional videos and here's how it's done

Although it does still leave your forehead exposed. Let me check it again ...

Also my glasses get fogged up really easy. Waa, waa, waa ....

The weather man predicted a low of 38° this morning but it was 28!
Quite a difference I would say.
I rode 26 miles.
Again, the only problem with the cold was my feet. They were good for about 45 minutes.
Although I don't think they got quite as cold as yesterday which was warmer.
Today I wore my toe covers and I think they helped a little.
Maybe they kept my toes comfortable for longer and when they finally did get cold, maybe they were not as cold as they could have been.
Here they are. They are Gators and they cost $20. The left one is broken where the shoe cleat goes through but they still work.

From 2008_10_28 Rain Gear

I also use a Buff, an all-purpose head gear thing which I like because it's all purpose. I can wear it as a balaclava at the start of the ride and if it gets too warm I don't have to stow it I can just convert it to a hat or sweat band or scarf. The problem with it is that it's not perfect as anything especially the balaclava. If I want it to cover everything but my eyes I have to tuck and fold it in and it doesn't stay tucked in. It can impede visibility.
Here it is.
From 2008_10_28 Rain Gear

Here it is as a balaclava
From 2008_10_28 Rain Gear

I originally got it for skiing but I use it everyday for cycling. In spite of it's limitations, I love it.

Speaking of skiing, Killington, VT opens Sunday! Here's an actual shot from today. Too bad the wife and I can't afford the $82 each for lift tickets. Ouch!

I'm kicking myself again today on the ride for not bringing a camera. I went by the camel and it was standing right in front of a gorgeous view of the Helderberg Escarpment in all it's autumn regalia. What a shot! I guess camels don't mind cold weather? I thought it would be inside.

Oh well. The ride was great. I feel like a million bucks today!

The Snow Line!

Today's ride took me up to where there was snow on the ground.
It snowed around here on Tuesday but didn't really stick except up in the higher country.
The view of it is beautiful and there are still colored leaves on the trees.
I got an email from Windham mountain, one of the places we like to ski and they said they got 2 feet up top and a foot at the base!
This is an actual picture from today:

Where I went there wasn't this much snow.
I rode 36 miles. A little more than I had planned on but it was worth it.
My feet FROZE though. Took me about 40 minutes to warm them up when I got home.
Have to do something about that. Get some neoprene booties.
I have some toe covers but they don't do the trick.

I like weather!

Today was a rainy morning, about 43°.
But I like weather.
As a kid, I always liked standing outside our house or in the woods on a rainy day; watching the swollen river behind the house and all the water engorged fluorescent glowing greenery.
Besides I bought all this rain gear and i'd better use it!
This summer I booked myself for these 2 benefit rides, one a 100K for the American Diabetes Association (Tour de Cure) and the other a 75 miler for Love 146 (Ride 4 Love).
Benefit rides go on rain or shine so I figured I'd better be prepared.
I bought the cheapest rain gear I could find and tried it out last spring on a rainy day.
So today's ride was sweet. I find it so peaceful, riding in the rain.
I don't have shoe covers so I used plastic bags which I duct taped like so:

From 2008_10_28 Rain Gear

Here I am in my rain gear. Don't look too happy do I? It's because of the camera which I could only get to do a 2 second delay.
From 2008_10_28 Rain Gear

the best time of year

Well, really, everytime is the best time of year. But I love the fall for riding, right when it's 55 to 70° or so. Indian Summer.
It's getting a little cooler now. This morning was about 43°.
I got a pair of tights that work great. We even had a 27° morning and I was fine.
The only thing that's getting cold now are my hands and my feet.
I'm thinking I may have to ride the mountain bike when it gets real cold 'cause I can wear my hiking boots and wool socks. My road bike uses clipless pedals.
All in all, I love getting out in this weather. It's supposed to rain tomorrow (it's raining now, actually)but I'm considering going out on a ride. I have rain gear except for gloves, boots and head. They are not waterproof.
We may even see some snow in the next couple of days!

This pic is from a ride on the Mohawk-Hudson Bike Path that I took with my wife:

From 2008_10_19 Mo-Hud Trail

This is me on the same ride. The Mohawk River is in the background. (I thought I looked better than that)

From 2008_10_19 Mo-Hud Trail

This was on Oct. 19th and when we went yesterday (the 26th) the colors were already gone by!

From 2008_10_19 Mo-Hud Trail

Here's some color.

From 2008_10_19 Mo-Hud Trail

It's going to rain! Should I ride?

Yes! Of course. And I'm so glad I did.
Some days it's so hard to get going but I know from experience that it'll be worth it!
And today was no exception.
They were promising rain and it looked like it too.
The temperature was 43° when I started out.
I intended to ride for 1 hour 'cause I had things to do but it wound up being 1hr 19min because there was a long, slow train blocking the crossing where I originally intended to go so I took an alternate route which was a little longer.
I got a few drops on me at the western limit of the ride but nothing to worry about.
About 40 minutes in I felt great!
Well worth it as usual. The rain really came down after I got back! ;-)

Another foggy day ... with pictures!

Another foggy day ... with pictures! 36 miles, 36°.
This one tired me out. I don't know if it was the temp or what but not a lot of hard climbing.

I decided to take some pictures today but most of them didn't come out clear from the moving bike and then the batteries ran out!
But .. here they are!

It was a foggy start in the neighborhood!

From 2008_10_08 bike ride

Here I cut through a development to avoid a narrow road with no shoulder
From 2008_10_08 bike ride

Like I said ... foggy
From 2008_10_08 bike ride

This road goes by an Audubon bird sanctuary. I tried to catch the sign from the bike but no go.
This is a real quiet road.
From 2008_10_08 bike ride

Another shot of that quiet road
From 2008_10_08 bike ride

Kind of blurry but a beautiful rocky stream
From 2008_10_08 bike ride

The fog lifts with a little elevation
From 2008_10_08 bike ride

Then my batteries ran out.

An' here's da route!

Derailleur frustration!

My shifting has gone south on both ends!
(oh, yeah, I got a flat on my ride yesterday, too.)
Today, I was unable (mostly) to shift into my big cog. I managed to get it into 1st just before Orchard hill otherwise I don't think I would have attempted it.

Then, I had trouble getting into the big ring in the front!

I got it home and was able to adjust everything. I think it's ok now. I didn't have my glasses with me on the ride so I couldn't see well enough to do the adjusting although I tried.

I still had a good ride. I love the fall.

Twas about 24 miles all told.

Here's the route: