Friday, March 5, 2021

Mar-04: No Clouds, 60+ degrees, but Very Windy

Another "PossumTracking" ride. 
This one rather short as I fit it in between some work and a planned recreational phone call. 
First 3.3-miles round trip to drop off some health + injury claims paperwork back to a friend. 
Then, about 40 minutes of on-line work, which I learned of just as I arrived at the friend's. 
Then, an 18.5-mile "PossumTracking" ride. 
  • all of Honeycutt, then 
  • Bay Leaf Ch Rd to the lake, turn-around and climb back to the intersection with Possum Track Rd, but I did add the Falls Bridge neighborhood loop on the return climb, then 
  • Possum Track all the way to the end, then reverse to 
  • Lindley Rd and through that neighborhood, 
  • to Hardee, Raven Ridge and then onto Brassfield Rd all the way to Durant Rd, then 
  • down the incline of Durant Rd to 
  • Honeycutt, and then back to my abode.  
All while wearing short sleeves and short-legged bibs and short-fingered cycling gloves. 
Perhaps not as much looking around as I might have done, but
I did realize that I was pushing up against the time for the recreational phone call to come in, so 
Even though I thought of taking a couple photographs (of previously photo'd locations), 
I just kept pedaling on. 
IF there is ever anyone that reads this and would like to see a map of the course, 
Check some of the previous "PossumTracking" posts for embedded maps of prior ride maps.

Mar-03: Another Errand Ride

See previous post for background. 
  • -> friend's ->    (get some papers re:  Duke Hosp stuff) 
  • ~ 4:30 pm +,   8m48s going,   8m,18s returning 
  • standing all the way 
  • 3.2-miles total, almost all on sidewalks.    ~ 17-minutes.    11.2-mph.  
For summarization comments, see the previous post. 

Feb-25, 26, 28: More Errand Rides

As noted previously, in prior years I never bothered to record my short errand rides (even up to 8-miles in length) in my Excel log, let alone blog those rides.  However, most of my cycling of late has been short, ~ 3.2-mile round trips to a friend's to help with chores or "chores" or deal with some health insurance claims paperwork; therefore, although perhaps not totally thought out, I decided to start recording and blogging those short rides.  [I could have, perhaps should have, recorded the same rides that I did the first week of January, when I sometimes did multiple round-trips on the same day, but I hadn't thought of recording or blogging them at that time.] 
  • -> friend's ->    (exchange some papers re:  Duke Hosp stuff) 
  • ~ 4pm +,  1.62-m each way,   8m28s going,   8m,04s returning 
  • standing all the way 
  • 3.2-miles total, almost all on sidewalks.    ~ 16-minutes.    11.6-mph.  
  • -> friend's ->   (exchange papers re:  Duke  +  get cooler from shed) 
  • ~ 9am +,  1.62-m each way,   8m40s going,   8m,12s returning 
  • standing all the way
  • 3.2-miles total, almost all on sidewalks.    ~ 16-minutes.    11.4-mph. 
  • -> friend's ->   (put box-fan in crawl-space) 
  • ~ 2pm,  1.62-m each way,   8m18s going,   8m,12s returning 
  • standing all the way
  • 3.2-miles total, almost all on sidewalks.    ~ 16-minutes.    11.6-mph. 


If I would blog these as they happen, I would have a few words regarding conditions and sometimes cars blocking the sidewalk in one or more places; but although those words would make these blog posts more interesting, those words aren't all that important.  What I hope is important is that although these rides are very short, they may be helping to keep me in some kind of cycling shape that I can use as a base to train-up for the April 200 brevet, and the May 300 brevet.  


Friday, February 26, 2021

Feb-24: Possum Tracking + Reversing

Instead of doing another "Possum Tracking" ride with multiple different loops as I have done several times in the previous 6 or 9 months, I decided to ride Bay Leaf Ch Rd and then Possum Track and then through the usual neighborhoods to Deer Trail, at which time I would essentially reverse my route, thus doing all of Possum Track in both directions for the first time in about 12 years.
Let's start with an embed of the route ridden, except that this starts from a public location, to whit, "TLC-4-Bikes" in Lafayette Village, whereas I actually started from my abode, which is where the extra distance between the embedded route and that reported later in this post (IF I remember to include the actual ride stats): 
Recently, I've been doing rides staying in faux single-speed gearing of 39/14.  And that seems rather strange that I've been able to complete the rides in that gearing.  Typically, if I faux single-speed a ride, a route north of Raleigh, or even south of Raleigh, I've used 39/15 gearing, which is 7 or 8 % easier.  Maybe if I had been doing a lot of cycling about, 39/14 would make some sense, but I've barely been doing any bicycling.  Perplexing as that seeming contradiction may be to me, I guess I've learned that I can do the rides I've been doing, even the semi-recent 100+ km ride in late November, in that 39/14 gearing, and having at least some measure of stubborn determination, I have refused to go to easier gears within the ride and nearing the end.  I cannot, however, claim that I won't change to an easier gear if I add a bit more tough repeating roller climbing. 
And, to come clean, I had intended to finish the ride on Honeycutt Rd instead of cutting through the "Coachman's Way" neighborhood.  IF I had finished on Honeycutt, the route / ride would have been a tenth-of-a-mile or two shorter, but I am confident that there would have been more total climbing -- and knowing that, at around the 19-mile-mark of the ride, I decided that I would do the "Bay Leaf Ch Rd" loop, which would include steep-enuf climbing into the strong south wind, but I would skip Honeycutt in favor of Coachman's Way. 
Although my head was often on a swivel during this ride in the 65 to 70 degree temps with plenty of sunshine, I took no photos.  As an aside, this was the first 70 degree day for the Raleigh area this winter -- we usually get a 70 degree day once every week or two during the winter.  This winter has been chilly and WET -- 14 days with at least some rain in January, and February looks to be headed toward 22 +/- days with at least some rain. 
I've been including Deer Trail (Rd) in my recent "Possum Tracking" rides because the ramp to get back up to a flat portion of Honeycutt Rd gets steep enough to knock my speed down to 4.5 - 4.8 mph (for a short section); I'm usually back to 5.3 +/- mph by the time I slip past the stop-sign onto Honeycutt.  If one zeroes in on that point in the ride, approx 13.3-mile-mark of the embedded map, one will find that that RWGPS will report a climbing incline significantly in excess of what shows in the "Metrics" section of RWPGS.  I took a screen-print and copied into a Word document -- if I knew how to embed that screen print here, I would.  The best I can figure out is to put the Word document out on Google-docs (or whatever that is now called), but I haven't put anything "out there" for several years, and I've forgotten how to do that. 
There was another steep bit -- an unexpected steep bit -- at approx the 16.1-mile-mark.  Very short, but steep enough, and catching me unprepared, my speed dropped to roughly 3.2 - 3.5 mph.  I thought it was to serpentine a bit at that point.  I was also concerned I might be about to fall over,  However, I was able to muscle the bike and me to stay upright and to get up that section. 
Total ride stats: 
  • 29.5 miles, 
  • 2:17 iin-motion, 
  • 12.9 avg mph, 
  • 2h18 or 2h19 elapsed -- i.e., no noticeable automobile traffic. 
  • However, there were several fast, intense cyclists, and one group of two with whom I crossed paths at least twice, and I think it was actually three times (those two did not seem to fit in the "intense" category. 
  • Oh, also a few walkers and runners. 
  • Almost everyone enjoying the exercise in shorts and short-sleeves -- although the two-some cyclists reference just above appeared to garbed for 50 - 55 degrees instead of 65 - 70.   
That's my non-humorous story for this ride, and I reckon I'll be sticking with this story. 
[Unless I figure out how to do "Google-docs" -- in which case, I might edit this.]  

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Feb-19-23: More Short Errand Rides

All in 39/14 gearing + standing all the way
I could do this route in a bigger gear, but ... 
And standing all the way is a training exercise, 
More mental than physical, I reckon. 
More follow-up to my recent exercise adventure
Not following-up on the exercise adventure, but following-up on the reason for the exercise adventure.  
1.6+ miles each way.  3.2-miles total.  9min in-motion each way; i.e., 18-min total. 
Almost all on sidewalks. 
[An interesting thing I learned from reading the "Harry Potter" books: 
In Britspeak English, "pavement" means the same as Amerispeak "sidewalk."] 
More follow-up to my recent exercise adventure. 
Not following-up on the exercise adventure, but following-up on the reason for the exercise adventure. 
1.6+ miles each way.  3.3-miles total.  9m,25sec going, 8m,15sec returning; i.e., 17-min total. 
Almost all on sidewalks. 
[Wind-shift between going and returning?  Or just more loosened up?]
More follow-up. 
1.6+ miles each way.  3.3-miles total.  9m,29sec going, 8m,35sec returning; i.e., 18-min total. 
Almost all on sidewalks. 
[I absolutely know that there was a wind-shift between going and returning. 
Even though there were only 10+ minutes between -- a storm front was moving in.] 
More follow-up. 
Future such errand rides will be for other reasons. 
And there are plenty of other reasons in the offing. 
1.6+ miles going.  1.9 miles returning (simplest way to avoid a car was to make a small detour.) 
3.5-miles total.  
8m,42sec going, 10m,00sec returning; i.e., nearly 19-min total. 
Almost all on sidewalks. 
These are NOTHING stories, but I'm trying to get back into the habits of: 
  1. riding more often, and 
  2. blogging every ride, soon afterward (that used to be the "required" protocol). 
Those are my stories for these rides, and I'll be sticking to them.   

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

3.5-miles today. Woohoo!

1.6-miles (maybe plus an extra .01 or two) to the target location.  9m,00 sec in sun-bright conditions. 
Severe-clear skies.  Not a cloud to be seen. 
Some follow-up to activity the night before -- not the exercise I documented, but the reason behind that exercise. 
Upon completion of the follow-up, headed back to my hovel. 
Oops, not quite to the stop-sign, I recall that there is a task I forgot to do. 
Circled back.  
0.3-miles,  1m,15sec to complete the "circle"-back.
A piece of equipment returned to its storage location. 
Back on the bike. 
Truly headed for my hovel. 
Fingers get a bit chilly -- that didn't happen on the way to the target location. 
I conclude that the breeze must have a significant North component. 
1.6-miles,  8m,19sec for the return.  
Into the wind, I pedaled harder, I guess. 
Actually, I know. 
Total distance and time-in-motion:  3.5-miles,  18m,34sec. 
All standing.  All in the 39/14 gearing.  Almost all on sidewalks. 
That's my story, and I reckon that I will be sticking to it. 

Unexpected Exercise

The following was originally posted on Fakebook.  I intend to copy over and NOT edit.  As a result of NOT editing, the presentation in Google-Blogger may be a bit ... not the usual "look."  (Fakebook and, as of their recent "improvements," Blogger each include a LOT of unnecessary / superfluous HTML code which usually results in something ... not the "look" I prefer.) 
So ... frequently, occasionally, once in a great while, I think maybe I should start doing daily sit-ups and push-ups.
Yesterday, I was giving the idea more consideration than usual, but incoming phone calls or incoming texts or no reason at all, I didn't do any sit-ups or push-ups.
Good thing actually, as at approx 6 pm, or just after, I got a call (or was it a text) about some dripping water visible through a grate/vent in someone's house foundation. Phone discussion ensued and, as a result, I went to check out the situation by going into that person's crawl space.
I hadn't been in that crawl space for maybe 10 years(?). I was expecting an easy trip in the crawl space along the south foundation wall, where there was always lots of space (the house is level, but the ground slopes downward from the north end of the house to the south end -- LOTS of space in the southwest corner, very little in the northeast corner -- and it gets tight about 2/3 the way from the south wall to the north wall).
Surprise! When person had a new heating/cooling system installed some 4 1/2 years ago, new ducts had been installed, too. Big, roundish, soft-sided ducts -- reaching all the way from the bottom of the floor joists to the ground -- well, maybe an inch or two above the ground.
Pointing my flashlight along the length of the duct (and btw, that "flashlight" was actually my cycling headlamp -- one with an internal battery that is re-charged by plugging into a USB port), I knew that if I couldn't get under that duct, I would have to crawl and then shimmy 2/3 of the way from the entrance (in the south wall) to the middle of the house, and then shimmy (and maybe be able to crawl some of the way) to get back to the kitchen sink area / the area with grate-vent in the foundation.
I tested the firmness of the duct near the entryway. Deep sigh! I was consigned to the long crawl / shimmy.
Crawled 20 or 25 feet. Then shimmy along on my belly. Then as the space was getting tight, on got on my back to truly shimmy my way at the "turn" under hard ducts and water and waste pipes, in between and around brick columns holding up the middle of the house. At one point, I wasn't sure how to make the turn / if I could make the turn. But I knew that I HAD to make that turn. So ... I paused for a moment to consider my options. I may also have needed a short rest -- after all, it isn't easy to crawl/shimmy along at my age and given that I am NOT used to doing such activity.
After a couple moments, I knew what to do to make the turn -- I think I leveraged my feet/legs against one of the brick columns to make the turn.
Then, it was shimmy, shimmy, shimmy on my back for 10 or so feet. After that, I was able to flip over onto my stomach, but there was not room to actually crawl. Trying several approaches, I finally settled on doing virtual push-ups on my elbows, and using my toes/feet to push me forward when lifted off the ground by the elbow push-up -- probably 6 inches per elbow-push-up. There was a bit more space as I approached the kitchen sink area, but not enough to actually crawl.
I won't go into what I found when I got to the target area because the point of this post is about the exercise gained / incurred needed to make progress in the crawl space.
After completing the inspection of the target area, I had to reverse my crawl space journey. More elbow-push-ups, more shimmying on my stomach, more on my back, more shimmying on my stomach, and finally actually crawling the last 20 or 25 feet. I did pause a couple times to rest as I was winded, getting sweaty, and my arms were tired.
So ... I assert that I got in a long push-up session last night.
And an hour or two ago -- it takes quite a while to type all this -- I decided to do some sit-ups and some push-ups. I won't type how many of each I did, but I will type that my arms were instantly giving off the message that they are tired, thank-you-very-much, so the push-ups should be categorized as half-a__ed ones.
I hope that I have the guts to do sit-ups every morning and also the "guts" to force my arms and shoulders to do some push-ups every morning.