Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Monthly Mileage

July has ended and I've accumulated 427.3 miles for the month and 3259.7 for the year. My original goal was to try to cycle 4,000 miles in 2007. I am on a pace to reach 5,000 miles, but much can happen between now and the end of December. My July mileage was over 100 miles less than my June mileage which I found surprising since I was on vacation for the whole month of July. However, my various trips and the loss of some of my long day-off rides made a big difference. July was still respectable.

This morning Annie was still too sore to ride. So I was out by myself again and went a bit faster around the loop, allowing me to start around again. There was not going to be enough time for a double loop, but I was able to stretch my morning ride to 16 miles and then used the bike this morning for some errands,accounting for the rest of the recorded distance.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Back In The City

And back to work today. It was a bit of a shock to the system to wake up at 4:45 A.M. again, but I did it and was on the road by 5:50 without Annie. Her soreness and stiffness from yesterday's tumble increased exponentially throughout last night and although she is feeling quite a bit better today she may not be back on her bike for a couple of days. So I rode the path alone. Then I took the bike to work and used it for a variety of errands during the day. My mileage at this point is 16.6 and I think I'm finished for the day, but if it turns out that I'm not I will adjust the mileage total in the sidebar.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Our First BCP Connected Ride - A Blast!

Annie and I left the house at 8:30 A.M. to meet up with a ride announced on the listserve of the Bicycle Club of Philadelphia. A Sunday brunch ride, 40 miles round-trip to Norristown. The plan was to have brunch in Norristown, check out the Farm Park there and return home. At 8:50 four of us left 22nd and Spring Garden Street in a light drizzle. Annie and I had had trepidations about being able to keep up with a group ride and even though I had e-mailed the organizer, Henry, to check out the anticipated speed and received a satisfactory reply, I was still a little nervous. But Henry and the other rider, Mark, were great fellows, great riding company and pretty much our speed, both literally and figuratively. We followed a lovely route through Fairmont Park but by the time we were near Merion it became clear that the rain was not going to stop and that the projected 40 mile ride would be too risky. We continued through Merion, into Narberth and ended up at a Mall in Wynnewood for brunch. Excellent food, I must say! After eating we headed home in the continuing rain, going back on more heavily trafficked roads, a good learning experience for Annie, ending up in Manayunk and picking up the Schuylkill path there for the duration. All in all 20 miles, but much more interesting then we usually do, more hills, more traffic and really nice companionship. It felt like a new stage to our riding lives and we both loved it. But we didn't feel we'd had enough when we separated from Henry and Mark at Lloyd Hall. We needed to get a few more miles in and ride a bit harder. so we decided to do another loop around the trail for good measure. not long after this decision Annie missed a cub cut getting from the road to the bike path and went down. she had a nice case of road rash on her knee and elbow, seemed to have strained her thumb and bruised her ribs. Trooper that she is, she got back on and we continued as though nothing had happened. We had a great ride except that after an entire morning of light rain, the thunder roared and the rains came down heavily. We were sopped through and having trouble seeing through it when we got back to Lloyd Hall, so we stopped and took shelter there for a few minutes. Sure enough, the rain passed and, lo and behold, the last mile of our journey was dry. in fact the sun slowly came out and was brightly shining by the time we arrived home. wouldn't you know it. But the fact that the weather cleared did allow me to immediately take the bikes outside to clean off the bikes, clean the brake pads off, lube the chains and get everything ready to ride again tomorrow. Our final mileage was 31 miles.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Home Sweet Fuji

Not much time to write before the Sabbath. Sorry about not getting the pictures mentioned in previous posts up yet. I'm working on figuring out the Treo.

We had an uneventful trip home and after unpacking and a quick lunch, Annie and I rode a double loop on the trail. Pure bliss! so nice to be back on the Fuji! My legs felt like power hammers after doing all the hills of the past week. Great ride. We are looking forward to a Philadelphia Bicycle Club ride on Sunday: 40 miles back and forth from Norristown with brunch in between.

Unbelievable rumors from the TdF today. Say it ain't so, Solar!

More soon.

Thursday - The Whole Lehigh Gorge Trail!

Our plan for this morning was to find the Glen Onoco access point in Jim Thorpe, PA and ride up to Rockport and back, but Annie awoke feeling like she needed a rest day. So off I went on my own. It took a bit of work to actually find the access road, but I did. It was about a 40 minute drive from where we are staying. I started off on my ride as the day cleared out the last clouds from overnight rainstorms. A beautiful day for a ride. And I rode to Rockport and kept going all the way to White Haven and back: 45.7 miles. I took a few last pictures with the Treo.

No bad news from the TdF so that’s good news.

Tomorrow we head home. We hope to ride the Fuji’s when we get home. It will be nice to ride the old Schuylkill path again! But it will be great to ride the Fuji again. Part of the difficulty of riding here, especially with the hills I did most of last week both with Alan and alone, was riding the Trek. It was definitely the right choice for the Lehigh Gorge Trail, but even there, its weight certainly added to the effort we were putting out and the fatigue we (especially Annie) were feeling. Beside that, I just don’t find it comfortable anymore, the set-up, the seat, etc. It will be very nice to get back on my regular ride.

WednesdayFrom Rockport to Tannery Road and Back

As planned, we drove to the Rockport access point and rode up hill to Tannery and then back down to Rockport. We covered a little less territory, 19.1 miles, but were much less tired. For Annie it was especially good. I got a few new pictures along the way with the new Treo. Hopefully I can figure out how to get them uploaded.

Soon after we returned home we heard that Michael Rasmussen had been sacked by Rabobank and the Yellow Jersey was out of the TdF! Unbelievable! What could happen next! Well, only that Cofidis team was also expelled from the Tour! There is almost nothing to say beside: How sad; how shameful; how demoralizing. Again. Believe it or not, I’m still a fan.

Tuesday:From Tannery Road to Rockport and Back

With our company gone and yesterday’s pouring rain passed, Annie and I struck out for a good ride along the Lehigh Gorge Trail. We drove to the Tannery access point, to which I’ve been riding these last few days but which would have been to steep for Annie to traverse and rode down the path to Rockport and a bit beyond. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful ride. The ride back to Tannery was definitely on an uphill grade. Perhaps a grade of 2%, 3% at the most but it made a difference and took a bite out of Annie. We managed 23 miles and were both pretty wasted from the work up hill. Tomorrow we’ll drive to Rockport, ride the uphill first and then back down, which should work out better.

Meanwhile, we returned to the house to hear the news that Alexander Vinokurov had been kicked out of the TdF along with the entire Astana team. How sad! How shameful! How demoralizing! I’m trying to maintain the attitude that the “system” is working and that as each cheat is exposed and punished the number of cheats will finally diminish and disappear. Wishful thinking? I don’t know, but the hold that the magic of the race and the super-human efforts of the (clean) riders still enthrall me and I will continue to follow the TdF as well as Pro-cycling in general. I’m still pulling for Levi and he is still in a position to win.

Monday - A Total Rain-Out

Today the rains came and stayed…all day. We used the day off to go into Stroudsburg and visit the Verizon store. I am eligible for a phone upgrade and acquired a new Treo with a Windows platform PDA. Having web capability and being able to access my email allows me to forgo the trip to the Main Street Coffee Works for the rest of the trip. It is too difficult to actually manage the blog on the Treo. I can read it and read other blogs and web pages and keep up with the news, cycling and otherwise, but these posts will be posted ex post facto when I get home on Friday.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

These Pocono's Are Real Mountains

I've never really thought of the Pocono's as mountains. The word only signified a region, a place we went for vacation. Certainly it is because they are mountains that people go there for vacation, but the full impact of that never really dawned on me. Well, I can tell you, this may not be the Alps or the Pyrenees, but these are real mountains and I've been climbing them all week. This weekend I did another ride with Alan: 24.5 miles down the Lehigh Gorge Trail and to and from the trail via the roads. We climbed over a thousand feet along the way. 25 of these kind of miles are a lot harder than twice around the Schuylkill loop, I can tell you. The kids are gone now and Annie and I will ride the rest of the week ourselves. Probably taking the car to the trail again and trying to stretch out our distance along the trail. Given the difficulty of my internet set-up, can't promise daily updates, but I'll do my best.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Finally With Annie On The Trail

Annie and I finally got to ride the trail together this morning. I rode into town and to the access point while Annie drove her bioke there and we then rode about 16 miles round trip. It was lovely until the end when i received a phone call about a death in my Congregation. A very venerable member for whose funeral on Sunday I will have to return to Philadelphia. I'll leave here in the morning and , hopefully, be back with enough time for a late day ride. So it goes.

A Late Day Ride

We awoke to the predicted rain this morning and no one felt like riding in the rain up here. So we hung around and did a few vacation-like things until lunch. After lunch the skies had cleared and the sun was making its way out. Alan (my son-in-law – pictured) and I decided to get in a late day ride. We set off with the general idea of finding the route we’d used yesterday from the Lehigh Gorge Trail, Our “short-cut” back to the trail again. We failed but found an exquisite route on very lightly trafficked country roads. I managed to stop and get these shots to try to give an idea of the beauty, but also the elevation. We rode 13 miles but so much of it was climbing that I was good and spent by the time we returned. Of course, I rode over 40 hilly miles yesterday, so perhaps I needed the easier day. I hope that the weather will be good in the morning and Annie and I can get to the trail…she will love it once we get there, but we’ll have to drive to the access point as 4 or 5 miles among these hills are going to be too much for her.

Today’s schedule allowed me to watch the TdF stage live rather than waiting for the “enhanced” coverage (replay) at night. I found it to be a pretty boring stage and since I’m writing this without Internet access I can’t even check for the names of the winners.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Back At Main Street Coffee Works

At which the connection is very tenuous, so I'm skipping the pictures and getting down to the details. I rode 15 miles this morning. Annie quit after 6. I finished the loop twice within the development and then continued into town, that is, White Haven. Four miles and plenty hilly but not as bad as the hills I did within the development. After breakfast, Alan and I went out. Back into town and then to the trailhead of the Lehigh Gorge Trail. We took the trail for about 15 miles and then turned around. The trail itself is pretty much flat and quite beautiful. I hope to get some pictures up before I'm done. the trip home we took a "short-cut." Probably not a good idea, but actually this time it worked out ok. We probably saved a mile or two and traveled less heavily trafficked roads. But the hills were killers! Alan's GPS says we managed 1400 feet in elevation along the ride. It was a great workout and gave me 42.8 miles for the day.

All along the way I was receiving updates on my cell phone via Twitter from David Bernstein of the Fredcast. So when I returned home I knew today's stage was almost over and I watched the end. Great stage and I still think Levi is very well positioned.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Hello From White Haven, PA

Well, we arrived yesterday without incident and after running around collecting groceries etc. we settled in for the next two weeks. We rode this morning within the development in which the house is located. My monthly mileage is likely going to go down, but it is deceptive, since these roads are all hills! I rode about 10 miles today, (Annie a little less) but we took some really big hills, pretty much like the hill in Manayunk on Umbria street, except when it was finished, after a refreshing flight down, we were going up again, a few more times! It is very good practice, no doubt. The area is quite nice. In order to get a little flat recovery we circumnavigated the lake a couple of times. Annie really liked this part of the ride.

We are only four miles from the trail head into Lehigh Valley Gorge State Park. We will ride the rail-trail in the park sometime this week and probably more than once. It is a 50 mile round trip journey but I think less challenging terrain. At least one such ride will be with Alan, our son-in-law. Alan, Tamar and Shail arrived this morning and we are already having a ball with the baby.

I am writing from the Main Street Coffee Works in White Haven where Wi-Fi is available for the price of a cup of coffee. Not sure if I'll bother to come down here everyday, but should be able to keep in reasonable touch.

Luckily the house also gets Versus and I was able to watch the TdF last night. Very interesting and somewhat surprising, so far. I expected the potential leaders to attack more yesterday, but they are obviously saving themselves for the Pyrenees.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Off To The Mountains

Both Annie and I, and the Peloton. Today's first real climbing day should shed some light on the eventual outcome of the TdF. Let's Go Levi!

Meanwhile we are finishing our packing and will soon be out the door to spend the next two weeks in the Pocono's. As mentioned earlier, Internet access is unknown at this time. I hope I will be able to share our rides in the country as they happen, but if not, I'll bring home some good pictures.

We rode a double loop this morning, 21.7 miles. West River Drive has been re-surfaced and was a dream to ride on. And I can't remember a Sunday morning when there were no events going on, so no crowds and no one setting up their tents etc.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Preparing For The Pocono's

Annie and I rode a double loop this morning, 21.1 miles. The rest of the day will be spent on last errands before we leave for our two weeks in the Pocono's.

We are probably going to take the Treks with us so that will be prepared to ride different kinds of surfaces, despite the fact that we will miss the Fuji's.

I will be using the bike again today for many of the errands, so today's official mileage will be added later.

I have signed up for the Fredcast's twitter updates of the TdF. Every couple of minutes I get a race update. I love it. Perhaps next week, if I'm on-line, I will comment on the various daily podcasts covering the TdF. I have subscribed to four or five and have definite opinions among them.

Finally, I have no certainty regarding how accessible the Internet will be for us these next two weeks. You may hear from me, you may not, or it may be intermittent.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

An Exceptional Day For A Ride

The humidity broke and the temperature came down a bit and the weather was made for cycling today. Despite being on vacation I was up at 4:45 with Annie and we did our morning loop. Except that she returned home after one loop and I continued for two more. I would have done a fourth loop if I'd remembered to bring a power bar or something with me: I was starved! That came to 30.9 miles. But I had many errands to run around town and in this weather nothing was going to keep me off the bike. I rode with my messenger bag to a number of different stores collecting things we need to take with us for our time in the Poconos beginning next week. It's amazing what you can fit into one of these bags! And, of course, I forgot things at different stores along the way and had to go back and buy the things I'd forgotten on the first run. Nothing better for fighting what would normally be a very annoying situation than to make the run again on my bike. In the end, though I felt like I was on the bike all day, I only added about 10 miles to the total. But it was great fun. I discovered a Bike Store that I hadn't known existed on 4th Street. I guess I haven't been down that way in awhile, as the owners said they'd been there over a year. Nice little store called Bicycle Revolutions.

Meanwhile in today's stage five of the TdF Filippo Pozzato won the stage. But there's more!

"While Italian heartthrob Filippo Pozzato earned a hard-fought sprint win in stage 5 of the Tour de France, Thursday's big news developed at the back of the pack, where pre-race favorite Alexandre Vinokourov lost 1:20 to his fellow GC contenders after crashing hard with 24km to go in the testing 182.2km run from Chablis to Autun."

Read the rest at VeloNews.com

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Home, Humidity and Hushvod

My travel day went smoothly yesterday and I awoke ready for a spin on my Fuji this morning. But I wasn't in the mood to go out on the Schuylkill. So I decided to head up Walnut Street with the thought of hooking up with Lancaster Avenue and taking it up into Wynnewood or thereabouts. I took Walnut to its end at 69th Street but when I turned I suddenly felt less comfortable riding over to Lancaster for some reason; partly it was pretty hot and humid. So I turned back on Chestnut and headed back into town, slipping over to Pine at 19th and taking that down to Columbus Blvd, this time heading South over to Oregon Street, up to 22nd Street and home. A relatively short route of my own making, just to see more neighborhoods, and try to find a little more hilly ride than my usual morning ride. All told it was 18.5 miles, but it felt like enough. I still have a few errands to run this afternoon for which I can use the bike, so my daily total should creep up a bit.

I came home to learn that "Thor Hushovd (Crédit Agricole) won the fourth stage of the Tour de France on Wednesday, outkicking Robert Hunter (Barloworld) and Oscar Freire (Rabobank) in a mass dash to the line. Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara (CSC), winner of the prologue and Tuesday's second stage, retained the leader's yellow jersey..." (VeloNews.com)

Monday, July 09, 2007

Goodbye LA Ride

My last ride on the Jamis here in LA. Another beautiful morning for a ride. I continue to get out and back before the sun burns through the morning fog...perfect! I am crediting myself with 25 miles today, though I think I may have ridden further. I took the same route as yesterday and then doubled back along Balboa looking for the extension of the path that Shaul and I took the other day in order to find the Velodrome. Instead I took a turn that put me on a path taking me under Balboa and through the park ending up on the same loop I'd already taken around Woodley and down to Burbank and back around to Balboa. I didn't mind the extra loop and when I came back on Balboa I found a second path that did, indeed, take me through the other side of the park and around to the Encino Velodrome, pictured here.

I tried to get a shot of the closed track and this is the best I could do.

After getting my pictures I headed home for a good breakfast cooked by my son. The weather here is supposed to be relatively mild, so there is a chance that , now that both boys are here, we will take another ride this afternoon. If so, I will report.

Meanwhile, the 2nd stage of the TdF was won by Gert Steegmans, a Belgian from the Quick-Step team who beat out his own team leader, Tom Boonen. There are no changes in the overall standings and until we get to the later stages it will be impossible to gauge who the real big guns will be. But I guess the Tour is already helping to push the doping stories to the read. Even the NY Times had an interactive feature on the Tour on its front web page this morning Check It Out

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Special From The TdF

Here are the hightlights of today's 1st stage of the tour, compliments of Velonews.com

Still in LA

Instead of being on an airplane this morning I rode the loop that I now call my own: along chandler to the busway, along the bike path to Woodley, around the golf course until it hooks back up with the bike path on Balboa, around to victory and then along the bike path back to the busway to Chandler and home. I was out before the sun burned through the morning fog; in fact home before it had. Given the heat wave that seems like a good idea.

Incredibly, Shaul does not have Versus on his TV so I've had to scrounge around the Internet to figure out what's going on at the Tour de France. I was not surprised by Cancellera's winning the prologue; I was surprised at how well Hincapie did and how poorly Leipheimer did. But there is an incredibly long way to go and I am still hoping for Levi.

THIS JUST IN: Robbie McEwan won today's stage while Concellara retains the Yellow Jersey. The big names are in the hunt: Vinokoura is about 30 seconds back and Levi about 40.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Hello From LA III

Back in LA after a hectic and somewhat stressful visit to Eugene. My plane returning yesterday was just enough late to wash out the possibility of an afternoon ride. I was drained, it was hot, and we had to get ready for a dinner appointment with Josi (my son's fiance)and her father. A pleasant time was had by all, by the way.

So I woke early and left Shuli sleeping and went for my ride. I'll claim 15 miles for the ride, although it is difficult to estimate, especially since I had to stop two or three times to answer calls from Annie back in Philadelphia. But it felt great to ride and I found a new wrinkle on the trail I've been riding. It took me on a lovely loop on Woodley (see photo,) around Balboa Park and the golf course there.

The only other news is that I've extended my stay and will not be flying out until Tuesday morning in order to get a day or so to spend with Yoshi who is returning from his assignment in Florida to LA on Sunday.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

A Brief Break

I left Los Angeles yesterday morning for a brief stay in Eugene, Oregon to visit my sister and Mother. A pleasant visit in a beautiful place but the logistics of bringing or renting another bike were too much. So I am in this beautiful, bike friendly town without a bike. I return to L.A. tomorrow morning for a few more days of riding with Shaul before returning to Philadelphia.

Instead of riding I had time, especially airplane time, to read. I picked up Bill Strickland's new memoir called "Ten Points" on Monday. It is a wonderful book! Bill is the executive editor of Bicycling Magazine and this book interweaves his learning to race, learning to parent, and learning to live with the traumas of his childhood. It is very well written and if you're interested in learning something about bicycle racing from the inside this is a great read. But it is much more without being maudlin. I strongly recommend it and would certainly appreciate it if you order through this blog:

Hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable 4th of July!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Hello From LA II

I suppose it's always another beautiful day in LA, but today was certainly no exception. We were out of the house a lot earlier in the day, though not as early as when I'm home and working. We rode out around 9 AM and rode for about an hour and a half covering about 25 miles. We took the same route as yesterday but did not go into Balboa Park, but kept going on the bike path until it seemed to end. We then picked up a different bike path and kept going until we thought we'd gone far enough, though we hadn't reached the end and had no idea where it was taking us. But it did take us past the Encino Velodrome! Which was kind of exciting. We doubled back into the driveway and found the entrance to the velodrome which, of course, was closed. But we checked out the schedule of activities. Unfortunately there is nothing going on while I'm here, but I hope the boys will come see a race or something and let me know about it.

Most of this path we were on follows the route of the Metro and is between the Metro and the street, completely out of traffic. It is a great path, though not necessarily the most scenic, the views in the distance, like the one above are not bad at all.

At each Metro station there are bike racks and, more impressively, bike lockers as pictured below.

I felt much more comfortable on my rented bike today and had no trouble using the gears. It turns out I hadn't looked at it closely enough when I wrote yesterday. It is a Jamis Ventura. I'm still not sold on the drop bars for me, but I enjoyed them more today and could see becoming so.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Hello From Los Angeles

Not counting the one lost piece of luggage it was an uneventful flight and my son Shaul picked me up at the airport and after a quick lunch, a bit of relaxing and catching up, my future daughter-in-law (with my other son, Yoshi)Josi arrived with my bike, rented from Hollywood Pro Cycles look them up when you next need to rent a bike in LA. We took off for a ride to Balboa Park and around the Park for a few miles and then back home. A quick ride in really hot, unshaded weather. Without an odometer I can only guess, but I think it was about 14 miles.

So, here's Shuli on his Specialized

And a very pretty patch of trees through which we passed on the way home.

And a rare shot of me without my helmet.

The bike, something called a Ventura, worked out pretty well. It is the first time I've ridden with drop handles and so far I can't say I like them. I may get used to them, and I have to take into consideration that the bike wasn't really fitted for me, but I managed. Learning to use the click shifting on the break as opposed to the twist shift that I've always used also took some time. I'm doing OK, but I'm still not always sure exactly which gear I'm in. By the end of the week I imagine that I'll be pretty well accustomed to both, but that doesn't mean I will like it.
LinkWithin Related Stories Widget for Blogs