Sunday, September 29, 2013

Nice Ride at Webster Park and Whiting

We've been having awesome weather: cool, dry, low humidity.  I rode at Webster Park and Whiting today and pushed a little extra, ending up with close to 14 miles.

I took a fall in Webster Park on a corduroy crossing made of about 10 large logs.  I've ridden it successfully before, and in fact crossed it fine in one direction, but on the way back I ate it.  The area is perpetually wet, hence the need for it, and today the logs themselves were a bit slippery.  That and the fact that one log shifted must have been what got me.  I fell moderately hard, hit my left knee and got a little wet and dirty.  My knee bothered me a bit along the rest of the ride.  If I start having knee pain on my next rides I'll have to remember this.  It might be time for another Dr. Luckey fix.

I saw a good number of hikers out there.  In fact the Whiting parking lot was full and I had to park on the road.  On my second ride through Webster Park I encountered an elderly man on the Midnight Trail.  He asked for directions back to Whiting.  He has missed the trail he entered the Midnight trail on and was on his second loop.  I drew him a map in the dirt and he was grateful.  I rode out and noticed the series of nice signs pointing the way to Whiting, once you exit the Midnight Trail, so I imagine he got out fine.  Thanks to the Friends of Webster Trails for those signs.

Muni at Whiting and Webster Park - 2013-09-29 at EveryTrail

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Dustin's Birthday Ride

It seems like I can't keep to a two ride a week schedule.  My excuse is the usual: busy, sick, weather.

Finally the stars aligned and I took a few hours off and rode at Bay Park West.  Today is Dustin's birthday and he joined me.  We got there at slightly different times and met up on the trails.  Like me, he hasn't been riding regularly and was battling a lack of endurance.  To some degree that's always the case at Bay Park West, but for a newer rider it's magnified by less efficient riding.  Still Dustin rides well and is making good progress.  I'm often impressed.   Is this a performance appraisal?

I kept my ride a bit shorter than normal.  Maybe next time I'll go for a bigger one.  This weekend promises to be great weather.

Muni at Bay Park West - 2013-09-26 at EveryTrail

Monday, September 23, 2013

Birthday Cupcakes

My lovely wife made me unicycle cupcakes for my birthday!

See them on her blog!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Cooler Ride

With a few 90 degree days and rain I hadn't gotten a chance to ride for about 10 days.  Yesterday I worked with the Friends of Webster Trails at Whiting to continue our work extending the green trail.
This morning I thought I was too sore to ride, but after some stretching I decided it was a good idea.

I rode at Webster Park and Whiting.  It was a typical ride.  I crossed paths with a group of three cyclocross riders half a dozen times at both parks, and also encountered a few mountain bikers, dog walkers, and families.

Temperatures were cooler, so that was nice.

Muni at Whiting and Webster Park - 2013-09-15 at EveryTrail

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Bay Park West Routine

It's becoming a standard routine for me to take a few hours off from work, mid-week, and ride.  As usual, this afternoon I rode at Bay Park West.

At the start of the ride my upper chest felt too tight and my head was pounding, like a headache.  It's hard to muni at this park without exerting some serious effort (unless you walk), and of the five trail heads, only the one at Homewood Lane starts at a higher elevation.  Thankfully my symptoms subsided within about 10 minutes.

My plan was to ride hard.  When I had choices to take or skip the down-and-back trails, I took them.  On my second tour of the park I started to get serious lower back fatigue and my calves felt like they were going to pop on the big hills.

This was my longest ride at BPW.
6.8 miles (GPS track uploaded to EveryTrail)
7.5 miles (GPS track on my PC)
8.36 miles (cycle computer)

Just comparing my EveryTrail miles, I had previously ridden 6.5 twice, 6.3, 6.1, and or course less.  So I wasn't way over the top, but I accomplished my goal of riding hard.  Hopefully I'll be sore tomorrow.

Muni at Bay Park West - 2013-09-05 at EveryTrail

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

S6 Trophy

Several days after the Suicide 6 race I received an email from one of the Park Ave Bike guys.  He said "We recognize your outstanding efforts" and had a trophy waiting for me at the shop.  I picked it up today and was pleasantly surprised to find it was modified to better represent my sport!  I learned that Bruce, the race director, used a pair of pliers to make the improvements.  Superb craftsmanship!!  Now I feel kind of bad that I didn't stick around for the awards ceremony.  That would have been fun.

Thanks to Park Ave Bike, Bruce, and everyone else involved for organizing great mountain bike races and welcoming me despite my missing wheel.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Greece Canal Park

Unfortunately Mj was not able to join us for the Shindagin Shindig, but we decided to meetup for a ride after.  So today Mj, Dustin, and I rode got together at Greece Canal Park.  Mj has ridden here in the past but we found ourselves exploring quite a bit.  It reminded me of Webster Park in that way.  Both are county parks, and both have poor maps and poor trail markers.  Looking at the county map and my gps track, we clearly rode the blue and yellow trails.  Yet on the trails we saw red and green markers too making the map hard to follow.  Maybe I'm expecting too much but it seems rather straightforward to get this right.  Stick to one color or name per trail and using some numbers as waypoints.

EveryTrail map

The trails weren't very long but if you know your way you could probably make a few loops and ride them a few times.  There was a rather technical section on the west and south side of the blue rectangle.  It has lots of roots, corduroy logs, and some boards.  This area obviously gets very muddy sometimes, but today it wasn't bad at all.  It's been storming in the area but thankfully the rain missed this park.

Dustin had some surprising success with riding over logs, and ended the ride with a very clean rolling hop onto and then over one.  He's getting better with every ride.  Mj hasn't been riding as much as she'd like, but she did better than she thinks.  I rode fine, but I'd like to improve my hopping.

A few days after Shindagin I suddenly started having pain in my left kneecap when I walked, and I was pretty worried about it.  Pushing on the center of my kneecap hurt a lot, and walking was painful at times.  I used ibuprofen for a few days and occasional icing, and it went away.  I guess I bumped my knee at some point?  I did fall and roll once at the Shindig, but I didn't think I hit my knee.  In any case, I avoided a midweek ride to heal.  Today's ride was fine.  So hopefully whatever was going on with my knee was a small injury and not chronic.

After muni, Dustin and I went to Gates Town Park to try The Woodlands disc golf course.  It's not a great course, but we had fun.