It's SHOWTIME! The Great Cycle Challenge commences TODAY, Sept. 1. My team captain Mike McIntyre took the day off (every day is a day off for me, LOL) and we rode the Chester Valley Trail from the King of Prussia Trailhead to Exton Park and back, for an initial ride of 26.1 miles. That's for me, Mike kept riding and racked up over 50 miles today. That's pretty much on track for us, as I have pledged to ride 300 miles this month, Mike to ride 500 miles. Check back often to see our progress. And while you're at it, make a generous donation if you are able. Thanks in advance!
Yesterday's ride between Norristown and Manayunk was much more manageable than that beast of a 33 mile ride day before. This is in my sweet spot, although I still have to work pretty hard the last three or four miles of the ride. The Challenge starts tomorrow, woohoo!
Sunday I returned from a week–long absence in Baltimore, where I was playing in a big bridge tournament. Yesterday I resumed riding, and I thought I would push myself a little with a longer ride, see just below for the route from Conshohocken to the East Schuykill River Trail just above the Lock 60 Recreation Area east of Phoenixville. The round trip mileage was 33 miles, my longest ride ever! And too long, too long, much too long. I've known for a long time I am not built for speed, but neither am I built for distance. I'm OK this morning, but my rides for the Challenge will be capped at about 20 miles, so I will be fairly confident I will survive the experience. I'll plan to make four 20–mile rides a week, which I am sure I can accomplish, and that will achieve my goal of 300 miles for September. The Challenge starts in just two days!!
I haven't posted in a while, besides the CVT ride posted for 08/21 (with Karin Schwenk and her husband, lots of fun), I made two other rides, one on the SRT and the second, my first foray up the Perkiomen River trail. On that last ride I had a flat tire and had to ride the last seven miles of the return leg on it. I have a patch kit now, duh. Total miles for those three rides is 66.8 miles, for a current running total of almost 225 miles since I started training about six weeks ago. I am in pretty good shape now, all things said for an overweight old geezer. I am confident I'll be able to meet my GCC goal of 300 miles by riding 80 miles a week during September.
Today (Saturday 08/05) I rode the Schuykill River Trail with my friend Karin Schwenk, who racks up far more miles per ride than I will ever hope to achieve. It was sunny, hot, and humid. I took along my usual half gallon of water and as usual drank it all during the two hour, 18.6 mile round trip from Betzwood Park at the northeast corner of Valley Forge Park to just before we would have left Conshohocken on our way to Manayunk then back to Betzwood. Karin barely broke a sweat, what an inspiration. We plan to ride again together soon.
I've now racked up 157.7 miles since I started training up for the beginning of the GCC September 1. None of these miles count toward my goal of 300 miles for the month, but they are all valuable steps toward getting me ready for the real thing. Besides, they've all been fun, even the ones that left me knackered and on the brink of puking. LOL!
I drove to Pottstown Riverside Park from King of Prussia after today's bridge game. The Park is lovely, right on the riverside LOL. The trail was wide and smoothly paved for the first couple of miles, then it narrowed remarkably, and while it was paved, it was rougher and for the most part covered with a thin layer of soil. I was glad my bike is a hybrid with wider tires than a racing bike. The weather was hot but not terribly humid, and I again carried two quarts of water with me, most of which I drank during the ride. Nice ride, y'all if you are up this way.
Today I rode with my Team Captain Mike McIntyre for the first time this season. My 22.5 mile ride was the longest so far, and with it I have now ridden just over one hundred miles since I began training last month. These miles don't count for the Challenge, which begins Sept. 1, but miles is miles. I'm slowly getting in better shape. It was hot today, I consumed the entire half gallon of water I took with me in during the two hour ride. A shower (tub, not rain) was a blissful extravagance afterwords. Mike took a great "fist pump" pic which is now my official pic on my GCC page.
It was supposed to rain this afternoon, but the storm track was more northerly than originally predicted, so I risked a ride. Risk? What risk, getting a little wet, LOL? Anyway, last year the SRT between Conshohocken and Manayunk was still a mess from the prior year's flood. But I was pleased to find it had been repaired. The ride was relatively routine. I seem to be getting a little stronger as I train up for the beginning of GCC on September 1.
This ride on July 27 began at the CVT trailhead in King of Prussia and extended to the intersection of Matthews Rd. and Route 29 in Malvern, then back to KOP for a total distance of 17.3 miles in 1 hour 24 minutes, not counting a 10 minute rest stop approaching the halfway point. My average speed today was 11.0 mph, best so far this season. For the first time since I began riding last month, I did not feel like puking when I got back to my SUV at the end of the ride. I think I have passed some fitness milestone as I train for the beginning of the GCC in earnest on September 1. I have accumulated 79.4 miles so far, but those don't count for the GCC.
A crazy ride in Providence, RI. I was supposed to be following the East Bay Bike Path, a really nice trail along the Providence River. I got lost so many times that without the Google Maps app on my phone, I never would have found my car again. On top of everything else, the Strava app on my phone that logs my location and velocity somehow malfunctioned. I had to estimate the mileage, pulled it right out of thin air. And no map to show either. Still, it was beautiful cycling along the river.