My 2013 cycling ride review

Now …The 2013 cycling year end summary.

Its hard to summarize the rides and miles this year.

2013 saw 40% of my rides on the 29er MTB. This was the first full year on having this bike in the ride mix.

It got me a reasonable ride total ( # rides ) but drove down the miles. Combine that with a wetter that normal spring and a 2 week work/vacation hiatus from riding in June – normally a 200 mile month – and the year ended down 460 miles vs 2012.

The 2013 season highlight rides:

April – Tour De Scranton

This was the 10 year edition. I’m still a fan of this ride and this was the 4th time I’ve participated. The weather cooperated with temps in the 70′s but cloudy. Thats okay .. having seen snow furries on this ride in previous editions.

Good support and a large turn out. Trek 5000 performed flawlessly and the rider survived to drive back to Philly later in the day.

May – Rotary 100 Eddie Richards Memorial ride – out of Burlington NJ.

A first for me and I gave a nice summary in an earlier post. Fine course for this 67 miles May ride. The weather was a cloudy 70 degree day. Overcast and humid those conditions and my lack of preparation made for a – long day and day after recovery. See August century post below. 2014 will see me paying more attention to ride conditional and food intake in the future.

June – July – August

The Trek Wahoo saw 2 rides on the Perkiomen Trail from Betzwood ( Valley Forge ) up to Schwenksville PA . Paved gravel and a 32 mile out and back ride. This trail continues on to Green Lane reservoir ( figure another 20 mile addition ) . I will make that a 2014 add. This is a nice ride and excellent example of successful Rail to Trail project. Stops on along the way if your inclined for a snack or simple lunch.

The other 29er ride was on the upper Lehigh Valley Gorge trail – White Haven PA down to Rockport – 30 miles total. Scenic ride along the Lehigh River Gorge.
Yet another Rail – Trail success. The continues to Jim Thorpe PA , ride conpanion Geo Hart and rode halfway. Will be penciled in for 2014.

August Century Ride – Shore Fire Century – ( out of Middletown DE ) WCBC

August 24th and my long ride of the year. Rode the Trek 5000 after toying with the idea of cobbling together a single speed rig. Those plans never got acted on, default bike is the Trek.

The weather was sunny and in the mid 80′s through the day, a persistent wind of 5- 7 mph can be characterized as – always a head wind.

As I have noted before this is a good century ride – flat – well run – attended – supported – marked.

I on the other hand under trained for this ride at the 100 mile level. My usual plan is to build miles/rides and then taper as the event draws near. Not this year… I merely inserted century ride into the month of August the summer of : ” think I’ll just ride the MTB a little here , the road bike a little there ” . An unstructured approach, to a physical 7 hour ride for a 59 yo male – 185 lb.

I slogged through in 6.75 hours at an ave of 14.5 mph vs 15.5 for the 2012 edition.

At the rides end and my usual post ride vehicle routine – load bike , towel off , etc. .
I hit the wall and at that point bonked and found myself heading to the ground in a haze. Scary and in all hindsight awakening. Story end – after 15 min. of rest ( laying down ) and some fluids all well into the car and back home.

I neglected to eat at all rest stop and the last two stops I treated as if they were NASCAR pit stops, in and out. I tend to rush at the end of rides such as these – bad habit – and dangerous habit. Luckily I was not on the bike riding had this occurred.

My lesion was learned and that was probably my last 100 mile Century. Metrics only for now on.

September

MTB ride to the local woods / trails . Well … I had a low speed, no speed, can’t unclip fall that day that bunged the hell out of me. Cracked ribs and mangled left hand. No ER visit but the basically kept me of the bike for 5 weeks. The recovery from the ribs was the killer, after 2 wks of rest I would try to ride again but .. no way.

The rest of the year …

Meager miles but not a shameful total, it did provide me with some insight to my riding and training for the 2014 year.

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Perkiomen Trail Ride

Although hotter than hell …. the Saturday ride on the Trek Wahoo was fantastic!

I really enjoy the crushed gravel,”hey !! I’m not on pavement side of cycling”. I have 40 miles in this month so far and not one of them are road bike rides !

This ride started at Betzwood near Valley Forge taking me north to Schwenksville PA along the banks of the Perkiomen Creek ( rail trail ) . Little to no elevation and 2 creek crossings one at Graterford and the next just south of Spring Mountain.

Plenty of access and trail heads. Passing through Collegeville and all along the ride, rest stop and variety of food options exist. This would be a good ride for the kids, nice stops along the way to explore. I’ve yet to continue on to the trail end at Green Lane reservoir , next time

I’d recommend as a fall ride …

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Ride Review The Eddie Richard’s Memorial Rotary 100 Bike Tour

The Eddie Richard’s Memorial
Rotary 100 Bike Tour
A Premiere New Jersey Bicycle Event

This was my first ride of the rotary 100 bike ride out Burlington New Jersey.

The weather could’ve been better . Cloudy all day temps in the 60-70′s and just the hint of a sprinkle. The overcast skies were probably a plus in hindsight. Wind was not a factor today which is always a concern on these flatter courses. I can only imagine how hard this Ride would be in July or August with heat and a higher humidity level.

The course was flat with elevation of approximately 300 feet, there were a few Rolling hills that kept the ride interesting and the legs working. The course was well marked and the rest stops were spaced just correctly and were well stocked. The cue sheet was organized and accurate.

Road selection was good with minimal traffic. Riding out of Burlington New Jersey to the east you go through farmland reminding me of some of my Lancaster Pennsylvania rides.

This was my earliest metric century and by the end of the ride my knee did start to ache a little bit but at no time was it a problem. Nothing that an advil and a couple of beers at the end of the ride could not correct.

My overall time for the ride of 67 miles was good with an average miles per hour of 14.5 which is about typical for a flat course such as this and my training condition.

I think this will be a repeat ride in 2014.

I will repeat my usual criticism for this ride only one being that there was no visible SAG support during the ride. In my opinion a roving SAG vehicle can provide quicker assistance to a rider with a mechanical or emergency need rather than the time required to field a cell phone call on the course.

This visible presence assures riders and alerts drivers that they are sharing the road with cyclists.

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2013 Tour de Scranton ride review .

Tour de Scranton 2013

The 10 year this year had record attendance ( rumored) and fantastic weather . The wet and cool April vanished for this Sunday spring ride benefiting the Erin Morekan Drug and alcohol treatment fund.k

The the temperatures were perfect in the 70′s with sunny skys to start. Finishing cloudy but no rain.

My initial goal was to complete the 65 mile loop but conditioning and time commitment dictated the Forest City route.

The mass start out of Scranton was safely executed, in the past I’ve seen a fair share of spills and crashes. The police and volunteer support in the early sections was excellent and upped the safety factor.

Traffic was busy and “behaved” all day and I heard no reports on any rider accidents. The road surfaces were amazingly good for spring in NE Pennsylvania after what was a mild winter. The usual pot holes and grates this ride require a keen eye all day, I noticed several punctured riders over the course of the day. My Bontrager Hardcase 25c performed flawlessly ( inflated to 100 psi).

I blew off the first two rest stops opting for a longer rest at Forest City, in hind sight not a wise decision I should have made one at least .

My overall time was the fastest for the 47 mile out and back loop.
46.9 miles at 13.9 average, I made a late effort when I saw the numbers in was putting up happy with that .

Lone criticism :

One thing to consider would be roving SAG on the course. One or two volunteer vehicles on the courses throughout the day offers real benefits to a group ride such as this in my opinion. The visual presence to motorists indicating cyclists in the area and a comfort level to participants. The on course SAG with radio / cell support can have a shortened response time for mechanical problems and emergency issues.

I will say it again I like this first ride of the season and will return!

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The cycling season – Part One !

The 2013 organized ride season is taking shape.

I’m trying to put my calendar in order for the first half of the summer then look at the second half, reason being, add new rides (?) and add some variety.

I hate to admit it but after 10 years the rides blend into a blurr.

Kick off is the Tour de Scranton my fourth time and a benefit for The Erin Jessica Moreken Drug & Alcohol Treatment …This is an early and great ride in Northeast PA and a no miss for me. The course on the 47 mile is a mixed bag of quiet and traveled winter ravaged roads, bring a bike with good tires .

Mid May I’m thinking about skipping the DVBC Bonkers ride and instead doing a ride out of Burlington NJ put together by the Rotary. It’s on a Saturday and would offer a metric with some flat terrain, good early season stuff.

At this writing I’m still behind on miles by 100 count, project now is too pile on some good miles and not aggravate any knee minor issues that have a tendency to crop up.

Today I’ve sworn off bitching about the cold Mid Atlantic spring, it’s been almost daily since Easter weekend.

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2013 cycling miles – update

The first quarter mile totals are dismal to say the least.

To date 118 miles ridden which is exactly 100 less than 2012. Ride number totals are 9 vs 14 which, sounds less shabby, but the early spring rides usually consist of the longer flatter Schuylkill River trail variety that yield bigger numbers.

Other considerations:

A cold damp March that would not let go, even April 1 eve is looking damp in an extended way.

A hallway painting project that drug on for 2 weeks, and was comparable to painting the inside of a phone booth ( a what ?) with a Q tip. Not to mention the physical toll that it took. That might have been a preconditioning effort, still to be determined.

So .. Will try to recoup 100 extra miles in April to being the mile totals on line with goals.

The 2013 ride calendar is shaping up and will be posted soon.

First up – Tour de Scranton . End April .

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Cannondale needs new FD 4403

I went to do the preseason look over on the cannondale, pulled the downtube FD lever and nothing. Loose cable was first thought but in fact the die cast nub the hold spring tension had broken off.

I don’t suspect rough handling, the piece just appears to have failed.

I’ve got my replacement and I will hang on to the old one for parts.

For what it is worth the FD 4403 is a braze on triple FD. It provided a lot of lateral movement over a sora triple crank “arrangement” .

Glad it didn’t fail on the PASA / Victory brew ride last September !!!!!!!

I’ve added a photo close up of old FD right with new back (left) , you can see the missing piece .

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