Stressing the ‘Fool’ bit
So. Nine days to go till the Tour de Cure and my longest ride to date (this year) was a whopping 36 miles. In order to rectify that little problem, I hatched a plan. This plan really emphasized the “fool” portion of my url here. Here it is:
I rode my bike in to work Friday, 8.24 miles. No biggie there. From work, I planned to head north (and downhill) towards Lake Ontario, then tool along west-ish along the Lake Ontario Parkway (legit for bikes no less). Once I cross over Braddock’s Bay I will head south (and uphill) away from the lake and back towards civilization. At the 19 mile mark I will again turn west and go for another 11 miles, putting me out beyond where Cindy & I went (stress the went) for our counseling. From there I’ll take a rather meandering route home, dodging the villages & busier roads. Mile markers 19, 28 & 47 will provide opportunity to stock up on Gatorade and PayDay candy bars. Just for a scale reference, here’s a look at the route: (click to embiggen)
Yes, that’s my houses real location, but at this zoom level, I don’t think any of you will be able to add me to your Christmas card list. You can see how close I am to the airport. so if you ever fly to or through Rottenchester, I’d be happy to come get you and play tour guide and take you to the best places to eat. Unless you’re on a diet, then you’re screwed. I can also tell you where NOT to stay to keep you from getting screwed that way.
So. The ride itself. Ominous start. Got hoodwinked into a meeting @ 3:30 that ran until 4:30. I WAS planning on starting at 4. Starting at 5 was a bit of a setback and pushed my anticipated finish time to a little before sunset. But it gets worse. A whopping 1.5 miles in, I got a flat tire. Ran over a flattened hunk of metal that must have had something sharp sticking up. I pulled off the very busy main drag and set up shop in the front yard of the Abbey of the Franciscan Friars. Even though I was kinda pissed about the flat, no swearing allowed in front of the brothers, eh? Found the puncture, dismounted the wheel, pulled the tube out, patched it and re-assembled the wheel. Whipped out my handy-dandy CO2 cartridge, re-inflated the tire and off I went. Time lost? About 15 minutes. Now I’d finish right at sunset.
Happy to say the rest of the ride went without incident, even though I was a little paranoid about that rear tire. The only other negative note would be the wind. When I was heading downhill towards the lake there was a bit of a head wind, but the gentle down slope nicely canceled it out. Heading along the shore on the parkway there was a stiff head wind, but the road was flat. What really sucked was that as I was climbing back up away from the lake I was expecting a bit of a tail wind. As it turned out, it was getting late enough in the day that the wind was dying down. No tail wind for the uphill leg. So much for planning . . .
Total for the day? 53.7 miles after work plus 8.25 getting to work for a total of 61.95 miles on the day. Noticed something weird too. Seems that 75% of the seat discomfort actually comes from the undergarments chafing some of the more tender spots in the area. So, for longer bike rides I have a choice to make. Try out some chamois cream, switch to boxer briefs or go commando. I’m thinking of a combo of the first two options. I’m just wondering how one keeps the chamois cream from bleeding through clothes? Time for research.
Went to a sort of a pop-up family reunion today. It was thrown together kind of quickly by my mom’s cousin (only 6 years older than me!) and included a branch of the clan I’d heard of but never met. Turns out that my great-grandfather was born in Birmingham, England in 1890. When he was still a young boy, his father (my great-great-grandfather) passed away. Great-great-grandma had it tough, couldn’t manage to raise 6 kids on her own and basically sold her kids into indentured servitude. My great grandpa was then shipped off to Canada with his siblings and basically served as slaves to pay off the cost of their passage to Canada. After being beaten and fed only bread & water, my great grandfather managed to run away from the farm where he was indentured and crossed the border. Next time he showed up in the census he was in a tiny town in central New York. Over the years he frequently visited Canada to see his siblings and he frequented a fising camp on Rice Lake – ironically enough same place where he died of a heart attack at age 77 out in a boat fishing. What a way to go.
Cripes, I’m practically descended from Oliver Twist. (Actually, his name was John Ward). One of my other uncles (married into this clan of slave descendants) had ancestors with a history of sheep thievery in England in the 1800’s. I remarked to him that he was dangerously close to having been an Austrailian!
Bathroom work slated for Sunday. Got to get the floor closed up, put in a wall for the end of the shower area and start running the wiring for the lights. Actually have a fair chance of completing all of that. Then I can think about insulation & drywall. Oh joy!