Thursday, April 9, 2009

Ride Notes

I'm surprising myself by continuing to work on stained glass this late into the year. I hope to have the first of six panels for our entertainment center done this weekend and with that, either relief or disappointment. I've never been entirely sold on the colors we've chosen and won't know if they'll work until I get the panel hung.

I got home from work yesterday afternoon as Tammy was getting ready to take the pups to the dog park ten miles to the southwest. I was heading out on my bike and told her that maybe I'd see them as I biked past the park. Our timing was perfect as they were rounding the perimeter by the highway just as I was coming by. I got off to chat for a few minutes.

As I took off down the road, Toby tried to run alongside me. I felt bad leaving him behind because he was running so hard to try and stay with me but I kept pulling away. They love their walks around our neighborhood but nothing compares to the park where they can be off leash. I try and take them there a couple times a week.

The temp was in the mid 40's and it was all I could do to average 15 mph into a steady 20+ mph wind from the northwest. I headed west toward Jordan as I contemplated how much ride I could squeeze out of the remaining daylight.

My plan when I left home was to do a simple out and back with Jordan being the turn-around point but once I got there I decided to head north into Chaska looking forward to the help a tailwind would bring for the ride home.

I flipped through the screens on my Edge 305 until I came to the one showing sunset time; 7:48. I felt relief as I thought about the ever lengthening days that will play out over the next couple months until sunset will max out at 9:04 the third week in June. This is a nice time of year for me with much to look forward to with respect to riding; God willing.

I felt good as I continued north out of Jordan and across the Minnesota River. It's a beautiful stretch of highway with little traffic even at its peak as it was when I came through. Just beyond the view in the photo to the left the road climbs for a couple miles at a moderate 3-4% grade. I thrive on hills and the challenge they offer. It's nice to occasionally get out of the saddle but doing so can unnecessarily drain energy reserves. You're much more efficient to remain seated although it's nice to bring different muscle groups into play and standing does that.

By this point in the ride it appeared the wind was beginning to subside but I didn't want that. I was hoping it would hang on to give me more of a push home once I got near Carver and Chaska and turned toward the northeast. It was still there but rather than the 20+ mph I'd been struggling against it was now nearer to 10 mph. I wouldn't fly home like I'd hoped but I'd push myself and that's really all that mattered.

I took five minutes to refuel at the Holiday gas station on hwy 212 just past hwy 41 in Chaska. A package of Hostess cupcakes and a 32oz bottle of G2 Gatorade would easily get me home.

I had 50 miles in as I climbed south on highway 13 into Prior Lake where I began to feel the burn in my quads. It's a good burn but I had to back off just a bit to avoid cramping. I was casting a long shadow by this time but was reasonably sure I'd make it home with enough daylight so long as I had no mechanical issues and I had none.

It was a nice ride covering just over 63 miles. I didn't notice it while I was riding but my lungs felt a bit sore after I got home. It's going to be a few weeks of regular efforts to put some of these aches behind me but they hurt in a good way so I really don't mind. They remind me what it took to achieve the pain and that causes me to smile.

I'm still on my red Serotta and hope to have my blue one out later this week. I'll need to change the skins on it first. Yeah, I'm out riding again. I'll have to make a serious effort to keep plugging away in our glass shop from this point on but I must.

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