Saturday, February 21, 2009

Hilly Cow

My cycling companion and I rode 86 hilly miles in Chatham and Alamance counties today. We started south of Chapel Hill (15-501 at Lystra Rd) and rode generally west to Snow Hill, turned south to Siler City, then reversed the route to return.

It started out at 20 degrees F. The temperature may have risen to 50 after lunch, but quickly started dropping as we returned. Chemical toe warmer pads are just wonderful.

The western half of this route was new to us, but there were so few turns, it was easy to memorize it. It was nice to not worry about the route, and we only turned on the GPS twice to be sure.

Traffic was light, although there was an abundance of trucks pulling wide trailers today. Everyone was hauling 'stuff', such as furniture, machinery, ATVs, bags of garbage, even an open trailer with a horse. Late afternoon, we were passed by a pickup straining to pull a huge wide trailer piled high with bales of hay. I saw the monster slowly approaching in my mirror and we pulled over to let it pass. The driver waved to thank us. 'Share the road' works both ways.

We saw six deer prance across the road, safely far in advance of us. The first one stopped at the roadside, seemed to look both ways, and then crossed. The other five followed one-by-one without looking. The leader will survive.

We only had one dog come to greet us as we climbed a hill in front of his farmhouse. It was a senior citizen dog, barely able to keep up with our slow pace. I respected his effort and smiled at him as he barked at me briefly. Namaste.

We also passed a farm with a delightful rendition of a cow in the front yard, as shown in this photo. It was made from an old fuel tank and other scrap metal parts. Very clever.

This was the longest and hilliest ride we have done since beginning this absurd hobby back in December. The hills took a toll on our pace, but not by much. I will wait a few days to assess their toll on my body. Some of my joints are already speaking to me...

Interactive ride map:

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Bunn Wash

We bicycled 83 miles today, starting in North Raleigh, and heading mostly east, doing an out-and-back route. There were moderate rolling hills the first few miles (and last), but the eastern part was delightfully flat. Temps started cool, but got unusually warm mid-afternoon.

We had lunch at a convenience store in the town of Bunn, NC. The name of the car wash business in the photo caught my eye.
Mechanically, the tire on one of our rear wheels was found rubbing on the frame chainstay. I must not have tightened the rear wheel sufficiently the last time it was off. Oh, and the next morning, my rear tire was almost flat. I must have picked up a slow leaker.

GPS stats: 83.4 miles. Moving average 12.6mph. Overall average 9.8mph. Moving time 6:37. Stopped 1:53.
GPS map:
A few social photos:

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Sunny South

It was cold the last two mornings for my 6am commute to work.

I have started wearing a little scarf from the dollar store to cover my nose, mouth and cheeks. It is a loose weave which I can breathe through, and it prevents blisters on lips and tongue. Very nice. Plus, it is a camouflage print which clashes with my appearance. I tie it in the back, and little flaps flutter in the wind. Just perfect!

A cute story: Yesterday morning, three co-workers came to my cube separately and accused me of pretending to bike to work. They accused me of driving my car to work with the bike on back, and then rolling the bike to the bike rack. Ha!