Sunday, November 13, 2011

If you can't be with the one you ride ...

Still without my Misfit this weekend (well, not entirely - but more on that later.) Now, the OCLV has been a trooper in its absence, but today I decided to hit the road, so to speak.

I drove up to the Lehigh Valley Velodrome for a road ride out of the Rodale Park across the street. I really love to ride up there - the roads all seem to be low traffic and perfect for cycling, and there's a little of everything - some steep climbs, rolling hills and wide open straight-aways. It's about as perfect a place to head out on the road as there is in PA.

Features of rides through the Lehigh Valley ... farms ...

... Long wide open stretches road ...

... Low traffic roads with a view ...

... a couple of steep climbs ...

... Some longer than others ...

... And some beautiful residential areas - you could do worse than live in the Lehigh Valley.

Except when there's wind ...

And today ... there was wind.

I ultimately rode about 60 miles, but it was really like two completely different 30 mile rides back-to-back.

The first 30 miles were a slog - into the wind almost the whole way out to Kutztown University. All I could do was try to keep my head down and keep pushing forward. It sucked. Every time I'd get a break and think I was finally out of the headwind, the road would bend right back into it. It was pretty much ceaseless for 30 miles.  I think I averaged about 15 mph through the first 30.

Scenic farms roads become a source of agony when headwinds and crosswinds enter the equation.

The second 30 was a completely different story - on the way back to Trexlertown, having the wind at my back was like having a jet engine strapped to me. On the way back, I averaged about 23 mph or so of moving speed. That's about as fast as I've ever gone for that kind distance - it didn't matter if I was going uphill, downhill or flat -- I was over 20 mph the whole time I was moving, and frequently much higher. I'd love to say that was all me, but I know better - just like I know that 15 mph wasn't me on the way out, that 23 for 30 on the way back was with the help of a big push from Mother Nature.

Long open sections of road are much more pleasant when the wind is at your back.

All things considered, it was another beautiful day to ride. I don't like wind - could have done without that - but even a windy ride is better than no ride at all. And riding 60 miles on those roads is just fun -- windy or not.

The Lehigh Valley is a roadie's paradise - long endless roads that look like  they were built just for cyclists are everywhere.
This week was more than just a Saturday afternoon ride. On Monday night, I finally got around to cleaning and rebuilding my basement bike shop. It was a project I've been planning for a long time but, you know ... knowing how way leads on to way ... or something like that ... Anyway, a few photos of the new and improved 1Speed Bike Shop (serving a clientele of one):

The first step was cleaning up the mess that was the old shop ...

Joanna gave me a bunch of storage crates and boxes for my birthday to help with organization ...

The center of the shop, as always, is the work stand area.

After all was said and done, my tools were shelved and organized, and my SS cogs were all in one place -  finally!

Plenty of storage ... and even some extra light when needed!

I have a stack of race numbers I will eventually hang up, but there are so many that I need to put them together in some reasonable combination before I put them on the wall

Despite all indications to the contrary, I'm not always all about the bike - I love to get out on the snowboard, too!

Now I have room for all my bottles and nutrition, too!

At the other end of the basement, my cleanup area is ready for wet gear - there's even a mat to put my wet shoes on.

The Krame played a big roll in the planning and execution of the new bike shop, so after it was all done, he understandably wanted to just hang loose for a while.

All set up and ready to go - the new and improved 1Speed bike shop is open for business!
So there it is - the last week in the life. A new shop and a few great rides. Not a bad way to pass a week, huh? Oh, and one more bonus - after I finished my ride today, I had a voicemail waiting for me from Al at my LBS - while the fork I ordered still won't be in until Tuesday, he'd found one in his shop to loan me until it arrives. Talk about above an beyond the call! He put the loaner on the bike today, and I'll be able to ride it tomorrow. So tomorrow I'll finally get back on the SS! I'm so excited - what a nice thing to do! Montgomeryville Bikeline is the absolute best!

A new set of Maxxis Ikons await the return of the Misfit ...

Up next week - heading up to Cathedral Pines!

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