Got the Giant back from K & G Bikes yesterday. Apaprently the only 50t chainring they could get in the right pattern was a Dura Ace. All that silver looks kinda funny with my black crank, but it should be pretty resistant to tacoing (of course, so should the other)! Also, in my original post I was mistaken...I said it was an Ultegra chainring, but it was a Truvativ Rolleur. ..drat, I can't find mycamera to document the new chainring. It's there, trust me.
Anyway, moving on...
I ended up having an extra-long and enjoyable ride to work today. I got up this morning, showered, packed some work clothes, got ready to leave, took a quick glance at the time, and rushed out the door without breakfast to get to work on time.
After I'd gone about 4 miles, I glanced down at the time. 8:45. Good, I think, I can make it on time if I put the hammer down going up the hill. A few seconds later I take another look at the time. 8:45. I don't have to be at work until 10:00. I left an hour early!
Since I'm pretty much locked into the rail trail I'm on, I decide to just keep going straight, toward Xenia. I figure I'll get to the main rail trail hub and look for the delicious sandwish shop I'd heard about--maybe get a cold sandwich to take to work for lunch, which I also didn't pack when I thought I was out of food.
I didn't quite make it though, I decided to explore a spur of the trail that goes over a wooden plank bridge. It only went a mile and a half or so, but it was a nice little ride through a park and the fairgrounds. They didn't really look like advanced fairgrounds to me though, I wouldn't have called them that if there wasn't a sign.
Unexpected sight of the day: The Green County Horseshoe Club. Someone was out practicing. They even had a storage shed and a fenced off area in the park. Nice. Too bad I didn't have my camera.
I rode through the park until it entered a suburban neighborhood and then turned around to head back to work, as I had used about half my available time. Rode back to work and arrived just a little bit early. Great commute overall, and the Giant performed fantastically. I also added a good 12 miles onto my usual commute.
A problem I've been having lately while trying to be as car free as I can is that I just don't have as much time for recreational rides as I used to. I need to buy groceries tomorrow, but I also planned to go mountain biking. Carrying a full load of groceries might be rough if I have been playing in the dirt all day. I have been compromising by stopping for groceries on the way back from the trails, but when I reach my eventual goal of riding to the trail that won't fly quite so well.
I also haven't done a long road ride yet. Not only do I not know the actual roads arund here that would be good for cycling, but doing a 75 mile ride on Sunday and then commuting the next day might be detrimental to me in the long run.
Always trying to find balance.