On Thursday I actually managed to turn in another sub 1hr commute. I didn't think I was gonna be able to pull it off, but a skinny guy on a road bike passed me so it gave me something to chase. It's always helpful to have that carrot to chase.
I slowly caught up to him over about a mile and a half, and passed him a few hundred feet before we got to a crossing on the bike path. I came to a near-stop to check for traffic, saw that it was clear, and went on my way.
Shortly thereafter I was passed again. Apparently he saw that it was clear since I went.
I gave chase again, slowly reeling him in until we caught up with a group of kids on BMXs. He came in behind them, looked back, and just waved me by. That was rather anticlimactic.
Oh well, as long as I pass people who probably weigh more than a hundred pounds less than me while I'm carrying 20 pounds of stuff I feel good about myself.
Sunday brought my longest ride of the year so far. I wanted some ice cream, so I took a trip over to Young's Jersey Dairy to meet my brother and his wife. I decided to take the rail trail as far as I could, which meant it was close to 25 miles. Each way. Never done a ride that long before without being in a group, but there are towns along the way to resupply at, so I went ahead and did it.
Here is the route that I took.
It's a surprisingly nice ride...the grades are all very gradual and there were a lot of people out. I probably passed 20 people going out there and another 10 on the way back...though one of them passed me on the way back, so I guess he doesn't count. I was riding the Long Haul Trucker because I wanted to have my Garmin Vista GPS mounted--I hadn't charged the Edge in a couple days and didn't think it would last the whole ride. I was correct and it only lasted for the ride there. Rather unfortunate.
Also, I learned that 1/8" leather lace is apparently not strong enough to hold my saddle together as it broke in two places. I'll have to see what else I can find..maybe just a shoelace will do, though it won't look as cool.
I got just a few pictures on the way there, so here they are.
This was taken in Xenia, not long after getting on the rail trail going north. Xenia is the self-proclaimed "Bicycling capitol of the Midwest", and they definitely seem to do a good job with keeping things bike friendly.
Another shot from Xenia. Have I ever mentioned how much I love separated bike paths?
I few miles north of Xenia. There's a horse trail running alongside the rail trail, and there was a stable to rent horses a mile or two further north. I like having the horses separate because dodging horse crap was never my idea of fun.
Car overpass. It looked to be only one lane wide.
A cow riding a bike at Young's Dairy. they seem to be very bike friendly there--there's a pretty good sized bike rack, and they also give free coffe, tea, or soda to cyclists who come in on weekdays. Good marketing considering they're less than a mile from the rail trail.
Back on the trail going south. Not nearly as deep in shadow as the picture would imply.
A little restaurant in Yellow Springs. This was taken over my shoulder on the way back, when I was going in around 12:30 there were probably 20 bicycles and 10 motorcycles out front. Just north there was a park & ride location for the trail and probably another 15 cyclists there. Yellow Springs has a reputation of being full of hippies and stoners, and I'm afraid that I may have to confirm that. North of this intersection I smelled marijuana for about 3/4 mile. Also, fun fact of the day: Firefox's spell check does not recognize "stoners" as a valid word.
Well, that was my ride. I'll have to do it again sometime, but I'll try the gelato. Maybe play some miniature golf at Young's. This is the kind of ride that would be great to do with another person, but unfortunately I have yet to find a riding partner here.
Young's sponsors a charity ride every year that is 2 day, 83 miles per day that I would like to try next year--if I can gather up the $200 that is required.