Cycling Log 2011

December: I lost track, but because of this weird non-winter we've been having, I got in a number of additional rides, and even commuted until December 21. Crazy.

11/26: Nearly a repeat of yesterday's ride, which is unusual but I saw some things I wanted to photograph and the light was perfect. Straight up to Troy and then back over the Troy-Menands bridge to the bike path. 1:28, 35.6k, 24.2kph avg. (again, lots of tooling around in the city), max 47.5, ending odo 13,700 exactly. That means only 1300 miles this season so far, not counting commuting; not the greatest, but that's what's going to happen if you're going to work for a living.

11/25: This unspeakably perfect autumn weather will have to end eventually. But for now, days that are sunny and pressing up against 60 will be accepted. A little hard to dress right for, because the wind is still a bit chilly and if the sun goes away you feel a good 10-degree change. Did a Troy loop today (and again the next day). Too late in the season to want to be out for hours, and too nice out to use the bike path because it's jammed with obstacles (people). 1:40, 40k, 24 kph avg. (including some tooling around Troy and the steepest street I've ever seen, which I declined to bike down), ending odo 13665.

11/20: Skipped yesterday despite the warm because of the wind and a low level stomach thing. Went out today for a Trojan loop as the temperatures once again went into the early 60s, the wind was strong but the sun was actually warming in the middle of the day. Crazy weather. Felt so good. 2:15, 56.26k, 24.8kph avg. (did I mention the wind?), 55.8 max, ending odo 13625.

11/17 & 18: Commute. The bridge detour has been over for a couple of weeks, by the way.

11/13: Oh god so windy. Warm, almost 60, but the wind, the wind. 0:55, 21.9k in the Luther hills and developments, avg. 23.5, max 46.1, 13568 ending odo.

11/12: Errands in Troy: 1:01, 26k, 25.2 kph with a huge headwind coming back. 39 max. When I replaced the battery I screwed up the odometer, I arbitrarily set it so it ends now at 13547, but I know I'm missing some kilometers.

Okay, definitely missed logging a bunch of rides. The battery went on the computer and I lost track. Gotta look back at my schedule to see when I commuted; it was three days this past week (11/7). Two rides last weekend up on Mapmyride. My training is abysmal right now, and today the wind was astonishing, even though it's warm.

10/8: Eagle Bay some of the way to Blue Mountain Lake and back. All on Route 28 with a side trip up to Limekiln. 2:20, 65.4k, avg. 27.8, max 55.1, ending odo 13454. The week after that was spent away, unfortunately, so not even commuting happened although I found a place that rents bikes in Wilmington!

Commuted the whole week before Columbus Day, except Friday.

9/24: Quick tour of Troy and so forth. Watched a little rowing at the Head of the Hudson, then moved on up the road. First time I have ever had to wait for the Green Island Bridge, but I didn't get there soon enough to see it fully open. Flood destruction in Waterford is still remarkable, and there's still clay all over the streets, pretty much everywhere. Hella-fresh pavement on Route 32 in Waterford makes that run back down into Cohoes much preferable to coming back through Peebles Island and Ontario Street. 2 hours, 52.1k, avg. 26.0 (sightseeing, really -- I did hit some sustained 32kph stretches on the way back), max 58.5 (down the hill from Oakwood Avenue, also freshies), ending odo 13389.

9/23: Commute and lunch at Melville's. Taking the long way around to the train station in the morning to avoid the crush across the Third Street bridge.

9/19: Commute.

9/18: Feeling sluggish but went for it anyway. Started at Cohoes Falls, took the bike path partway to Niskayuna, where there have never been so many people on the path. Up the landfill hill, out into some of the Nisky neighborhoods and back taking road as much as possible to avoid the crush of novices. 1:48, 50.4k, avg. 27.8, max 47.8, ending odo 13337.

9/14: FASTEST RIDE EVER. From New Castle again and out around Christiana and the other suburbs south of Wilmington. The shoulders are more than a full lane wide, cars are required to yield to bicycles in the turn lane, And so fast that in the end I was cursing getting back into the village because it was dragging me down. 1:36, 51.4k, avg. 31.9kph, max probably about 47 (the computer screwed up for sure), ending odo 13286.

9/13: Decent ride from Battery Park in the most quaint little village in America, New Castle, DE, through industrial Delaware to Delaware City and back. Superwide shoulders, though a fair amount of glass. Flat, decently fast.  See the route here. Did get my first flat tire since June, but it wasn't subtle -- air volcano. 1:49, 48k, 26.3 avg., 47.1 max, ending odo 13235.

9/11: Around August Gate and Robin Lane with Rebekah. 41 very enjoyable minutes. ca. 20k.

9/10: What did I do? Must have gotten in about 40k, according to the odometer.

9/9: Away all week, and everything's flooded again. Took a fast run without the bike path (closed for flooding) up to Cohoes Falls and back. 1:34, 41.4k, 26.3 avg. (pretty good for those urban streets, including a spin through Troy), max 51.3, ending odo 13175.

9/3: Between storms, a run up to Galway. Had to go the flat way as I didn't have a lot of miles in my legs. The surprise was that Central Avenue was actually a fairly pleasant ride -- new pavement from the Capitol to Waters Road, pretty much. And I'm faster than the express bus, but that's no surprise. Then I had a nice crisis of confidence on Waters Road, but once I was through that, everything was fine and my time was actually pretty good. Map here. 2:36, 66.3k, avg. 25.4, max 56.2, ending odo 13133.

8/30, 31, 9/1, 2: Four days of commuting, with some side trips to look at the flooding from Irene.

8/23: Downtime on Hannah's move-in day, so snuck out for a mid-day ride. Note to self: Clarks Chapel Road is now loose gravel. I don't understand why you take a paved road (and not a bad one at that) and turn it into loose gravel, but it is . . . for its entire length. So, sadly, now to be avoided. Quick spin around that way and then into AP, back over old Best. 1:35, 42k, 26.5 avg., 53.3 max, ending odo 13067. Felt like fall -- the sun was warm, hot even, but there was cool in the air.

8/21: Commute, with an extra swing by the Downtube. Where they were astonishingly friendly and helpful, and were having a big sale. Perhaps competition will do them some wonders.

8/20: Hot and bright, bright sun. My knee is nearly back to normal but I wanted to do some distance. Didn't have enough food with me so at 18k I took a risk and stopped at Guptill's for a malted milkshake. Despite that, carried on quite nicely. So, bike path all the way to Fonda Road, down 9 to Guptill's then back to the bike path, to the Nisky train station and back. 2:17, 62.4k, avg. 27.2 (yeah baby!), 46.3 max, ending odo 13025.

August: I just lost track. Weekends were screwed. Mostly working out the commute, which gives me an hour of riding every day but at a pitiful pace. Bought an amazing Arkel bag that makes it easy, however -- no more fear I'm going to destroy the laptop. Took the bikes on vacation with us to Old Forge but did nothing with them. And that's fine. I know the last ride before the next entry was a 60K down to Niverville and then back in on the South Schodack Road, and there have been some little uses but this working is eating into my ride times. However, on my commutes I am WAY more willing to put up with rain than on my recreational rides. So figure that out. Know that I commuted 8/2 (with side trip to Delmar), 8/5, 8/15, 8/19.

7/30: Urban exploration around Troy with a wicked headwind going up north, that turned cross on the way home of course. 50.4k, avg. 24.3, 48.4 max, ending odo 12902. Followed it up with putting on new handlebar tape, a skill I have lost.

Lost track -- I know on 7/23 I did about 50k, two hours up to Waterford and back. Then on 7/24 Bek and I did 17k on the trail and then looped through the cemetery and came home down Van Rensselaer. And two days of commuting this week -- finally, my new Pearl Izumi commuting shoes.

7/15/11: With the sudden closure of the South Mall Expressway screwing everything up and being not so new at my office, time to finally force myself to commute. Bulletproof Specialized tires on the Bianchi. I'm not used to the upright, and damn that thing is not as sleek as my Roubaix. With State Street torn up, the only approach was Madison Avenue, which is steep enough that it's where bobsledding was invented. Trying not to sweat up a storm before work, so I went into the triple. Also, I don't know how people ride bikes without being clipped to the pedals. It's the weirdest sensation. After work, went down to Broadway Bicycle and got a rear rack and panniers so I can carry my laptop not on my back. We'll see how it all goes. 8.31k to the AES, with a loop to Broadway Bikes after work it came to 19.9k. Gotta track my commuting miles separately I guess.
COMMUTE: 19.9k.

7/14/11: Out in the evening for a quick spin up to Troy and back. Lee brought the bike to ballet and I rode it home. There was a terrific howling crosswind the whole way, but at least it stayed cross (to tail) on the way back. 1:15, 32.9k, avg. 26.2, max 44.5, ending odo 12779.

7/11/11: Is it really down to once a week? Fraid so. 46 mins, 20.8k, 27.1 avg. 50.5 max, 12659.

7/4/11: Quick spin around the neighborhood, having had the boats out at Waterford earlier in the day. Hot, 85 degrees, had to choose between going hard and not overheating. 45:00, 19.05k, 25.1kph (said it was hot), max 45.9, 12693.

7/2/11: Nisky bike path with Bek. 50:00, 14.9k, 17.6 avg., 36 max, ending odo 12674.

6/26/11: Another entire week away, with Hannah's graduation on Saturday and her party today, but I did sneak out for a quick run up to Troy and back on the other side of the river. 41.8k, avg. 24.9 'cause I was noodling around and hit every stop light in the city, max 49.3, ending odo 12638.

6/19/11: Couldn't get out on Saturday because of River Fest activities and the gift of a flat tire (piece of wire, never did find the hole in the tube though), but did manage to sneak in a hard hour in the hills, out the Palmer Road loop and then a quick extension on Temple Lane to keep the average up. First ride on new Vredestein Fortezza SEs. (last pair, which suddenly were flatting and had worn right through, were good for 2,269k.) 1:07, 31k, avg. 27.5, max 52.9, ending odo 12596. NEW TIRES

6/16/11: Found a park and ride near the Schuylkill river trail and hit it from Conshohocken into Valley Forge. Flat except for a major spike up to Valley Forge, and a little climb back to the park and ride. Lost my times, avg. was about 26.6 (not spectacular, really, considering how flat it was). Did about 1:25, 40 k,  Ending odo 12565.

6/15/11: Brought my bike to Villanova, since I have a layover day and thought I could get in a seriously long ride. Know what I didn't know about Valley Forge? The surrounding terrain is lumpy -- not Rensselaer County rolling hills, but lots of short hella-steep little hills, on roads with absolutely no shoulders and brush sticking out into the road. The streets are so steep they're grooved in places. Went up to Valley Forge and rode around the park, which was fun, and also took a quick spin around Villanova University, which wasn't big enough to offer much of a ride. In the end, despite my intentions, I only ended up with 46.3 k, avg. 22.5 (my first real hard hills in a while, believe me), max 52.5, ending odo 12525. If I get out again tomorrow night I'll probably drive over to the Schuylkill path, but have a feeling it'll be insane.

6/12/11: With Rebekah, from Colonie Town Park to the Niskayuna Train Station and back. Nice temp but very threatening. Just the day before, I had the nerve to note that I hadn't had a flat tire ALL season, so of course when we arrived at the park my rear wheel was flat flat flat. Couldn't find the hole quick enough so changed the tube and noticed that my tires are SHOT. Well, turns out they've been on more than a year, something more than 4000K, so of course they're shot. 1 hour in the saddle, ending odo 12478.

6/11/11: The week was a loss, and the coming one may be, too, although I may drive to my week of meetings and take my bike with me. Went out despite the rain, got caught in two somewhat heavier showers but otherwise it was fine and I was glad I put embro on my legs. It was 95 degrees on Thursday, and barely 65 today. Out the bike path to Colonie Town Park and beyond, then back in on Boght to Swatling to Route 2. 43k, 26.8kph, 45.1 max, ending odo 12460k.

6/6/11: Desperate for a ride and yet left with no options this week (Friday was prom, Sunday was recital). So I banged around the neighborhood, up and down Temple Lane a couple of times and then around the developments. Just under an hour at 26.6 avg. The knee feels pretty much back to normal.

6/4/11: Somewhere in there I missed recording a short one, and then on 6/4 we went to Broadway Bikes and got Bek on her first road bike, and did a short run to Watervliet and back together. She loved having a fast bike. The knee issues are going away through a combination of heavy ibuprofen, not babying it and yet not banging down on it all the time.

5/28/11: Away much of the week, nursing this knee issue. Finally getting an MRI next Tuesday. Today, hot but lovely, except for the 40 mph headwind coming back. Oy. Bike path all the way to Colonie Town Park and back, a route treasured for its flatness. Had thoughts of going off it but the headwind changed those thoughts. 44k, 24.3 kph, 40.6 max, ending odo 12351.

5/22/11: Two in a row, but again, just on weekends. Until I can figure out how to commute, which I can't do until my knee is healthy, that's just how it's going to be. I think for this one I ran from Nisky into Scotia and back. 5/1:36, 38.19k, 23.8 avg. (yay me! And despite my promises, I did climb the landfill and the steep hill up the river, in my granny gear), 46.8 max, ending odo 12307. By the way, the newly paved stretch of bike path from Aqueduct to Union Street is SWEET.

Officially a weekend warrior. And a wounded one. While patiently waiting for an MRI on my knee, I'm required to do only flats, which may make me insane. I forget where I was , but be assured it was flat. 1:41, 36.3k, 21.4 avg. (it is to cry, but my knee was really hurting the week before), 47.2kph max, ending odo 12268.

5/14/11: A whole week away, and resting the bad knee anyway. Gloomy but at least not actively raining. Corning Preserve out the bike path the whole way to Nisky, trying to baby my knee by not doing any climbing. 1:56, 50.3k, 25.9 avg., the max is lying, 12232 ending odo.

5/8/11: My first abort for non-mechanical reasons that I can remember. Usually, no matter how I feel, if I can get on the bike, I'm going to go. But this time my left knee, which has been an issue for a few months, just said no. It didn't even like the flats, it certainly didn't like the headwind, and with a wall of doom coming toward us, I just decided discretion was the better part of valor.

5/7/11: Yeah, that whole working thing is going to cut into my miles. I want to figure out a way to bike commute, but currently have to drag my laptop and everything with me, so that means panniers, etc., and just ugh. I want to go fast. But it'll have to happen. Today, went too soon after I ate, and my knee actually seems to need some physical therapy now. Goddamn. So, cut it short in the sun/clouds/rain/wind/pollen combination; bombed out to Clarks Chapel then back in on Best all the way to Troy Road, and that was it. More (and flatter, I think, for my knee's sake) tomorrow. 1:25, 37k, avg. 25.9, 52 max, ending odo 12178.

5/3/11: Any thoughts that the last few days of absolute freedom to ride would be packed with riding were ridiculous. Too much to do, including the only chance to do some yardwork and a Monday split up with a bunch of driving around. So, today. Warming but threatening, started with sleeves and then of course the sun came out JUST as I was climbing back up from the river. Weird run out to Luther, over to Best Road and Van Leuven to 43, then up 4 to Troy, couple circuits around downtown and then back home down Broadway. Was going to stop at Broadway Bicycle, the new place, but of course I can't carry anything home when I'm on my bike, and I'd have to clomp around on my cleats. So this afternoon, I'll get over there. 1:56, 48k, 24.9kph avg, 52.2 max, 12141.

Oh, and I got called "hot tea" by a coed who was passing as I rested on a campus bench up at Sage. So, Winning!

4/30/11: Down around Bethlehem. Heavy wind again and just a tad underdressed for it. 1:57, 50.8k, 26.0 avg., 49.5 max, 12093.

4/27/11: Rain and business took me off for a week? Damn. Around Cohoes and such, 1:48, 46.47, 25.6 avg., max 46.6, ending odo 12042.

4/24/11: First paddle of the season, with Hannah, in at Waterford and up toward the little falls, which pushed us back like nobody's business.

4/20/11: From RPI north of Troy, Sweetmilk road, got a little turned around, down into Waterford, little break to look at the rushing Mohawk at the entry to the Canal, then back across through Green Island. Fixed a dangerously loose cleat in the parking lot of the Dinosaur before climbing Congress. 1:20, 30.36k, 22.7 avg. (lots of climbing on rough roads), 55.4 max, 11996k ending odo.

: It won't stop raining and being cold, but there was enough of a break that I could do some neighborhood hill drills and punish my legs. 36 minutes, 13.35k, 21.8 avg, 49.1 max, 11965k ending odo. This was four assaults on the hill at full tilt and some riding around the lake to recover.

4/16/11: That's right, two in a row. Much chillier and again with the north wind. Late day ride, took my time to look at the river, ran up to Green Island but didn't cross the highway in Cohoes.1:20, 34.66k, 25.7kph avg., 35.6 max, 11956.

DSCN1536.JPG4/15/11: Around the town. First fast-ish ride out Broadway and up W-S road to the Swatling/Johnson/Saint Agnes etc., out to Route 9 and back down Fonda Road to the Falls. Traded speed for sociability on the way back, had a nice chat with a rider named Tim from Averill Park on a much newer Roubaix than mine. Sunny and nearly 60 but with a wicked headwind from the north. 1:46, 43.6k, 24.5 avg., 45kph max, ending odo 11917.

4/11/11: Started out cold, very windy and threatening a thunderstorm, so embro and double long sleeves. Then the sun came out and I baked like a lobster. Out 4 to Troy, up Campbell to Spring and RPI, up Tibbets and then back in to Mount Ida and home again. 1:52, 43.1k, avg. 23kph, max 51.6, ending odo 11873. This was the day when we went from fleece to shorts in a single day, as usual.

4/8/11: Lenox, MA, in the scenic and, it turns out, hilly Berkshires. You would think one of the wealthiest communities in one of the highest taxed states in the union would have streets paved smooth as glass; you would be phenomenally wrong. I take back everything I ever said about Rensselaer county roads. So bad. Thought I'd climb October Mountain but man was I kidding myself, and the traffic, lack of shoulder and horrible conditions ruled that out. Plus, it was chilly and unpleasant, so I just started hub and spoking around town. Wanted to stop for pizza and coffee but AGAIN, no bike rack anywhere. 1:18 cause I could only go so far, 26.6k, avg. 20.2, max 49.6, ending odo 11830.

4/3/11: Two days in a row doing the neighborhoods (had to be at SUNY for a rehearsal), and again with the wind. I did what I could do and then I had no more. I wanted to stop in for a leisurely bagel and coffee at Uncommon Grounds, but, very surprisingly for a coffee shop next to a college campus, there is NOWHERE to lock up a bike. Disappointing. I had to go get my truck and drive back over there, and that made Al Gore cry. 1:18, 30.25k, 23.0kph avg., max 40.9, ending odo 11804.

4/2/11: Starting to get something like warm, though the wind came very close to knocking me off my bike. On the other hand, big wind usually means big endorphins. Just did the neighborhoods of Albany again, learning that I know absolutely nothing of the city outside of downtown. 1:32, 34.18k, 22.2 avg., 40.9 max, ending odo 11773.

3/30/11: Cold. And snow. And cold. And more snow, or at least rain. Few days suitable for riding. Finally warm enough for a bike-path centered jaunt in the evening. 1:01, 25.11k, 24.6 avg., 34.1 max, ending odo 11739.

CJ bike ride DSC_3715.jpg3/20/11: Almost 45 but nice and sunny. Couldn't get out yesterday because of plumbing and other concerns, but forced myself out today despite a strong will to nap. Wanted to go flat so of course ended up training in the hills. Started out circling the high school, then over Michael to the hills above the Post Office, then across the way to Gilligan and a big development on Hays that I've never ridden in before, then up flaming Ridge Road, which gets no less steep and no less crumbly with the passing years. Long sleeve base, yellow LS jersey, winter jacket, tights but no need for leg warmers. 1:23, 32k, 23kph (not bad for all the climbing), max 153.8 (yeah, that's a mistake!), ending odo 11714.

3/17/11: Okay, here we go. Spring is coming, the sun is shining, things are melting. Grateful for the wet lube. A run around the city again, just to get the legs warmed up. Pretty nice ride, temps getting above 50. Long sleeve base, long sleeve jersey, Postal vest, tights. 1:43, 40.27k, avg.23.3, max 44.5kph, ending odo 11682. Link here.

3/12/11: First real ride of the season. Yeah, it got cold and snowy and icy there for a while. But we may see the 50s by the end of this week and you can definitely feel the earth warming up. Ice is melting and there is an endless variety of debris on the shoulders. Took a questionable spin around Albany neighborhoods on the day of the St. Patrick's parade, and while there was plenty of aggressive (not yet quite drunken) driving, only one asshole thought it would be funny to aim his SUV at me, so not bad. Went into neighborhoods I've never really seen and got my head turned completely around, which is the goal of any city ride. 1:19, 28k, avg 21.2kph trying to remember to stay on the small ring, max 42.3, ending odo 11642.

2/17/11: First Ride of the Season! Or it could have been a fluke. But it was a beautiful warm February thaw, the sun was bright and the temp around 43, the shoulders didn't look too bad for riding and I went for it. Found out what taking a few months completely off the bike will do for you -- the ride was weak and slow, and of course having no flats around here there was no choice but to climb things my legs weren't ready for. A simple hour's ride, 24k at 23.4k avg., max 57.5 (Elliot Road back down to Michael), ending odo 11614. The next day was just as warm but there just wasn't the time, then an icy front moved in and now we'll see how I can follow up.

Season starting odometer on the Specialized Roubaix ('07): 11590k

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