Monday, May 24, 2010

Breaking More Stuff On My Bike

I considered replacing "stuff" with "sh--" for this post's title, but I like to keep things pretty G-Rated here.  Anyway...

Great ride yesterday.  Wheel was still in the shop, but my friend Pete offered to loan me an extra wheel he had so we could ride on some trails through Portland.  The only caveat was his disc brake rotor was smaller than mine... which meant no front brakes.

So that made a few downhills quite interesting, but it was going relatively well.  However, at one point I ate it pretty hard.  Actually, a few times I ate it pretty hard.  But one of those times I snapped the shifter off my bike.  Pete and I braved swarming mosquitoes until we figured out that tying it to my handlebar with a spare inner tube would be best.

It still shifted, but I could not do so without holding the broken shifter in my hand to keep it stable, meaning it was next to impossible to shift on the trails, so I would be forced to ride single speed for the most part.

Pete talked me into continuing on despite this, and hesitantly I agreed.  However, it went alright.  I was just a bit slower is all.

The trails themselves were great.  I had no idea such great trails existed within Portland city limits.  Much of the time, you would have thought you were someplace else much more rural (like in my my town).  It was great.  Will definitely ride these trails again!

Good news about the bike is that replacing the shifter will be cheaper than I thought.  Should have the bike back by the weekend.

Mountain biked 14.0 miles @ 7.1 mph/avg (19.5 mph/max)
Trails, some paved roads (1-1.5 miles worth).
Moderately hilly.
Mid 60s, sunny.
Shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

10k Hike to Test the Foot

I hiked 6.2 miles in the woods out back, curious how the foot would hold up.  Truth be told, I was a bit disappointed.  Whenever I stepped on a rock or root with the left foot, I could feel the dull ache of the stress fracture still.  It wouldn't linger long, but that's still not a good sign.

That being said, it wasn't a complete disaster.  It's now several hours after the hike and the foot doesn't feel aggravated.  I had planned to start running again next week, perhaps starting with 2-3 slow miles.  I may adjust that to a 1-2 mile alternating run/walk and keep on even terrain.

Judging by today, I may have to wait a little bit longer for things to come around.  Disappointing, but I'm super thankful I can at least mountain bike and I'm having a lot of fun with that.

Busted Hub

A nine mile ride yesterday had somewhat of a sad ending.  I busted open the hub on the front wheel of my bike on a rocky section of trail.  Fortunately, this happened when I was only a half mile from home and I was still able to ride the bike home, albeit veeeeeeery slowly.  Took the wheel to the bike shop yesterday for repairs, and it should be ready to go by Monday, at the latest.  

That aside, it was a good ride.  And on the running front, I'll be able to start running again next weekend.  I can't tell you how excited I am about that!  Foot feels great, and I'm sure I could run now, but no need to push it.  

Worth noting a few deer flies were out, though not really a nuisance.  They're out a few weeks early this year, normally they don't show up until early June. 

Mountain biked 9.0 miles @ 9.8 mph/avg (27.9 mph/max). 
Trails, dirt roads, some paved roads. 
Very hilly. 
Upper 70s, sunny. 
Shorts, short sleeved shirt. 

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Saco River

Great ride today, and I successfully found the trail connections to take me all the way down to the Saco River and therefore avoided roads the whole way down. Most of it is along the abandoned railroad bed, which at a couple of spots is slightly tricky to find since there are detours around houses.

Once at the river, I did take the paved roads over for about a mile or so to a park in Buxton along the river. Road some of the trails there, then sought some different trails on the way back home.

Hit paved road for a few hundred yards up a hill to go an area where I thought some snowmobile trails might lead me back to the abandoned railroad bed. At the top, I stopped to talk to a guy working on his yard. He also bikes and we chit chatted for about 5-10 minutes and he tipped me off on what the trails were like ahead. His advice was great, as I successfully found the connection back to the railroad bed and back home.

What remains of where the abandoned railroad used to cross the river.

Saco River, from atop a cliff on the Buxton side.

Mountain biked 18.9 miles @ 9.0 mph/avg (20.6 mph/max)
Trails, some paved roads.
Moderately hilly.
Lower 60s to lower 70s, sunny.
Shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bradbury Mountain

Great ride this morning at Bradbury. I started off on the O-Trail, which I now have a love/hate relationship with. Highly technical singletrack with so many sharp turns it's ridiculous. I equate riding it to doing speed work with running. You kind of curse it when you're doing it but afterwards you look back on it and think it was great.

Afterwards, hit the Lanzo Trail, another windy singletrack but not as bad and quite enjoyable. From there, explored the Ragan and Fox West Trails, both of which I really, really liked a lot due to them being a good mix of technicality and speed. Fun day.

Mountain biked 6.4 miles @ 4.9 mph/avg (12.2 mph/max)
Highly technical trails.
Moderately hilly.
Upper 50s to mid 60s, partly cloudy.
Shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ride Out Back

Most excellent weather this afternoon equated to a most excellent mountain bike ride.  Did a fun eight mile loop in the woods out back, beating my previous best average speed by going 1.2 mph faster.

I'm getting better at biking, but am still nowhere near as good at it as Curly was at dancing:

Mountain biked 8.1 miles @ 9.5 mph/avg (21.6 mph/max)
Trails and fire roads.
Very hilly.
Upper 60s, partly cloudy.
Shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Kickin' Around da Hood with Frank

Rode over to Frank's house today, a talented chef and runner that I became friends with a couple of years ago at the Vermont 100, who now lives just a few miles away.  From his house, we hit some local trails in our town and had a blast.  I hadn't seen Frank in a while, so it was great to catch up and chat throughout the ride.  

The ride itself was great.  We hit a variety of trails, all very hilly and a some sections a bit technical.  I definitely took note of Frank blasting on the uphills.  The guy is a beast. I had to resort to the 24-inch gear (you know, two feet.. walk on up) on a few sections that he was able to motor up, making it look pretty easy. 

Mountain biked 16.9 miles @ 10.0 mph/avg (32.9 mph/max)
Trails, some dirt and paved roads. 
Very hilly. 
Upper 50s, partly sunny. 
Shorts, short sleeved shirt. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mt. Agamenticus

I've run here a few times and it's always really kicked my arse. I have now mountain biked here and it also really kicked my arse. Great workout pushing my bike up insanely steep and rocky trails that were impossible to ride up. Slow going on most of what I could ride, with the exception of a fun downhill at the start down a dirt road and another, more technical descent off the summit along the Horse Trail and then the Ring Trail back to the car.

I forgot my Garmin so I downloaded the CarioTrainer app on my phone (Android). It seemed to work pretty well, though I screwed it up at the summit and didn't record the trek down back to the car, so I'll have to guess at my stats a little.

Along the trail.


Mountain biked around 4.1 miles @ ~5.0 mph/avg (~23.0 mph/max).
Technical trails, one section of dirt road.
Extremely hilly.
Upper 50s, sunny.
Shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Bad weather and busy schedules got in the way of biking the past several days. Finally a break in the weather today, and got in a fun ride in cool weather. The wind helped make it feel chilly and I actually considered stopping to put on my windbreaker (which I carried in a backpack). But once I hit a long, uphill technical section, I was sweating, and tempted to push up the sleeves on my long sleeved shirt.

After that climb and about four or five miles in, the rest of the route was pretty easy. Long downhill on a dirt road where you're over 20 mph for about a mile without even trying.. some paved roads, some trails, some paved roads, some fire roads, some trails, then home.

Mountain biked 11.6 miles @ 10.5 mph/avg (23.4 mph/max).
Trails, fire roads, dirt roads, some paved roads.
Very hilly.
Lower 50s, partly cloudy, windy.
Shorts, long sleeved shirt.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Bike Commute to Work and Back

Why bike to work and back?
1) The weather was great.
2) Awesome way to incorporate exercise into the day.
3) It's green.
4) It saves gas money.
5) It's fun.
6) More reasons that I probably can't think of right now.

Really enjoyed commuting today. Opted to take pretty much all roads on the way in, which are all pretty bike friendly (i.e. wide shoulders). It's the same way I drive in, and another nice thing is that there are only four stoplights along the way. Avoiding trails would save getting muddy before teaching and the weather was cool enough where I didn't sweat much so no shower really needed. On the way back though, I took a few trails for fun and to avoid the roads.

Used one of my backpacks to carry my laptop, change of clothes, and lunch. Wasn't really an issue and it was quite comfortable. The only thing I didn't really anticipate (that I should have) was having a sore butt. When riding on the trails, I'm not sitting much so it's not an issue. For bike commuting to work though, might be smart to wear bike shorts for the extra padding.

I will definitely be doing this again whenever the weather looks okay to do so. Was also happy with my predictions. I thought that with just a moderate effort the commute each way should take an hour. On the way in I got there in 59:36. On the way home, 1:00:47.

Since I'm apparently so good at seeing the future today, I'll also predict that the Red Sox leaving Ortiz in as DH tonight is a big mistake and will bite them in the butt again.

AM: 13.1 miles @ 13.2 mph/avg (21.8 mph/max).
Paved roads, except for a grassy downhill shortcut that was about a half a mile long at best.
Moderately hilly.
Upper 4os to lower 50s, sunny.
Shorts, windbreaker (Shed after nine miles), short sleeved shirt.

PM: 13.2 miles @ 13.0 mph/avg (28.2 mph/max)
Paved roads, except for about three miles worth of pretty well groomed trails.
Moderately hilly.
Mid 70s, sunny.
Shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Stupid Owls

Another owl encounter of sorts early this morning, as it was warm enough to sleep with the windows open and two barred owls were hooting and then got into what sounded like a territorial dispute. So, up at 4am and stayed awake. A bit groggy as I headed out the door around six hours later.

Ride went well. Relatively easy route overall, along with being able to fly downhill on a long dirt road contributing to a relatively fast overall pace. The effort was only pretty moderate though. Still, a good, fun ride. No doubt I'll be taking a nap this afternoon.

Mountain biked 9.0 miles @ 9.8 mph/avg (26.0 mph/max)
Very hilly.
Trails, dirt roads, some paved roads.
Upper 50s to lower 70s, partly cloudy, humid.
Shorts, short sleeved shirt.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Best Ride Yet

Several reasons why:
- Despite feeling sluggish and tired the first mile, I shook it off and rode relatively fast and hard.
- Weather was awesome.
- Covered a lot of ground.
- Successfully bunny hopped over half a dozen logs and cleared them entirely (granted they weren't too thick).
- Was able to stop home at the halfway point and finally locate and fix an annoying squeek.
- Charged technical sections, especially on the downhills, harder and faster than previous rides.

Only bad part of the ride was that a trail I was exploring ended up on a road, and I rode pavement for about three miles, but no big deal.

Also, been riding with shin guards the past two days. Good peace of mind with the platform pedals.

Mountain biked 15.8 miles @ 9.1 mph/avg (24.9 mph/max).
Trails, fireroads, some paved roads.
Very hilly.
Lower to upper 70s, partly cloudy.
Shorts, sleeveless shirt.