Posts Tagged ‘night ride’

Namaste for me and one for you

13 October 2011

Finally, after years of neglect, I got the not so old Specialized out for the short ride to Yoga. Of course it was raining out, and dark, so I had to prepare for that. And the tyres were a little bit soft. Could I find the connectors for my two rear side lights? Nope. Could not. I don’t know where they are. I found one broken one but it was of no use. That meant I had to put the big pannier on the back as that has the remaining light tied on. Then I had to thread the wiring for the dynamo light and with my fingers still not fully recovered from France, that was fiddly. I even had to go upstairs for my glasses so I could see the connector for the wire. Getting old really sucks!!

Finally I was ready to set off. This was my first exercise since the diet started Wednesday last week. Getting in shape for a triathlon next year so need to get down to a running weight which is a lot less than my cycling weight. Once half the weight has gone then I’ll start running a couple of times a week.

So, back on the bike. This was my second time out on the bike since France. I have done CTS a number of times but the bike is stationary and I don’t have to worry about my balance. Going down our street, I felt the fact that I hadn’t been on the road in a while with the darkness only highlighting the unfamiliarity. The legs took some time to get going and the diet, with its 1,000 calories per day max, made the legs feel heavy. However, I was soon back in the swing of things, if not exactly breaking any speed records.

Yoga was delicious. It was good to be back on the mat which had been rolled up and tied up with the belt ever since I got back from the last session in May. The stretches felt really, really good. My body needed them. More yoga!!

Coming back I have always gone more slowly than when I am going to yoga. It seems like my legs are still in namaste and don’t want to do any more work. Tough! They need to get me home.

I have missed cycling and will be climbing back on board again soon.

Night ride to Greenport

6 August 2011

Ok, I had a crazy idea of setting off a 2 o’clock in the morning and riding to Greenport then grabbing breakfast somewhere on the way back. As I was still up by 10:30pm, I decided to change that to 3 o’clock instead. I was pretty much set up so I thought it would just be a case of getting riding gear on and out the door. It still took me half an hour!

Having the two lights on the front makes a big difference. The dynamo is definitely the brightest of the two but the Niterider has a wide beam and lights up a big area. They complement each other well. The only problem is the Niterider has a rechargeable battery and will only last 3-4 hours. I wonder if I can run it off the cache battery for part of the night. The Garmin can have half the night and the Niterider the other half. That may just work and then I can charge the cache battery up once daylight comes. Sounds like a plan.

I saw a fox on Nichols Road. It is only the second fox I have seen in this country despite being here ten years now. It ran gracefully across the road but with purpose. Not the frightened run of a squirrel. Majestic. I also passed three youths walking home from a party, perhaps.

When I got on to Rt-347, the traffic was intermittent. I did think about the stats of when the most cycling fatalities are in Suffolk and hoped that everyone on the road would be driving sensibly. Only one driver honked his horn at me. I was very visible from the rear with my two red lights and reflective ankle bands.

As I reached the Rocky Point bypass, the streetlights disappeared for the first time. I felt like I had been transported on to a night dive with my headlights acting as my main beam in the water. It was peaceful, it was still, it was nice. Visibility was great!!

Dawn broke at around 5am and then the sun crept over the horizon some time later. I reached Greenport after 3:12 hours of cycling – 53 miles. The metal bird has disappeared. Not sure if someone took it as a souvenir but it is definitely gone. I was going to take a photo of it. as it was, I just tweeted that I had arrived. I poured the fresh water from the back up bottle to the main one and slipped in a Gu tablet. I set off for home, looking for a place to have breakfast on the way.

At Riverhead I stopped to buy a big water bottle. I filled both bike bottles and drank a bottle of cranberry juice. That was nice. I continued on, still looking for a breakfast place. I didn’t want a chain and was almost resigned to eating at JT’s in Nesconset. I then passed two possible places but I didn’t stop. Mainly because I had just replenished supplies at the 7-Eleven and it felt too soon to stop again. Two cyclists caught me up and we chatted about how far we had gone. They had done 40 miles or so. I told them I had done 80 and that I had been to Greenport and was now on my way back. They seemed impressed.

Once I reach Sound Avenue it starts to become really familiar and it doesn’t feel like too far to go. When I reach Rt 112 it almost feels like I am home though there is another ten miles to go. As I approach Lake Avenue, there are no cars behind me so I move into the left lane and wait for a gap in the traffic. The lights turn red, then green but I have not triggered the sensor and I don’t get the left turn light. I wait for the oncoming cars to pass by and then take the break in traffic to cross into Lake. I enter the parking lot of JT’s only to find people waiting to be seated. After cycling 100 miles, I am not going to wait for a seat. I head out of the parking lot and cycle home.

I averaged 16.5mph heading out to Greenport and 14.4mph coming back. There was a slight head wind coming back so that goes towards explaining why I was slower. I also felt tired in my legs. Not my thighs but my calves. That’s interesting because when I do the CTS workouts, it is always my thighs which ache. The new rear bag seemed quite well though when I stand up to attack a small climb, it does end up shifting to one side or the other. It is not a big deal to move it back into place. I don’t want to tighten it any further as it is a carbon fibre post. I can definitely get some stuff in it.

Overall, a good ride. And now I have to do another hundred tomorrow.

Cranbury 600k – the ride

29 June 2010

I don’t think we even skirted Cranbury never mind pedalling one stroke in that wee town.  The start of the Cranbury 600k was switched to the Days Inn in Hightstown mainly because they could accommodate such a sizeable group and the fact that when we began the Cranbury 200k, a local neighbour had complained so much about us taking their parking spaces on a Sunday morning.  So we began in Hightstown. (more…)

New bike candy

13 May 2010

With the Hightstown 400km ride coming up in a couple of weeks, I had to do something about lighting.  The ride starts at 4am on the Saturday and must be finished by 7am on the Sunday.  If I reckon on 5 hours per 100km, I will be riding 20 hours and of those 20 hours, I am guessing six will be during dark hours.  That is if things go to plan and I ride continuously. (more…)

Rode to Yoga on Earth Day

22 April 2010

The objective for today was to not use any more electricity than what it takes to run the house.  I used electricity for the computers and the refrigeration device.  Everything else was off or not used.  I had yoga today so I had to figure out a way to carry the yoga may.  I tied the yoga strap around the top and the bottom of the rolled mat and slung it over my shoulder.

Fashioning the yoga mat

Do I wear it well?

I tried to be a cow during the ride so that the mat would sit snug along my spine but I am afraid that didn’t work and I ended up being a cat with my back bent.  So much for being a yogi!!

It was dark when I came out and I got my first chance at doing some night riding.  It felt strange not wearing sunglasses – that’s how I used to ride all the time in England – I never wore glasses.  Now I go out at all times of the day wearing them.  I had enough light to see the state of the road on the straight but going around corners felt a little bit freaky.  The road is kept in the shadow and pot holes are not noticeable.  That is something I will bear in mind when I do the 300k early next month.  That starts at 4 in the morning.