Saturday, July 18, 2009

saturday riding

Tried to make it to the Chambersburg Y by 7:30 to meet up with a couple of guys, but woke up to a refrigerator with no milk (how can I get started in the morning without a bowl of cereal?) and after a quick spin to Sheets for that, and eating, and swapping wheels, and kissing sleeping wife, and mixing bottles, and all the rest...I didn't start rolling until a few minutes after seven...and when I got to the Y at 7:45 no one was there.

So, I rode by myself.

The big climb is Route 30 out of Chambersburg, the descent is from that point down to Burnt Cabins past Cowan's Gap State Park.

The climb on 30 was a first for me. I'd shied away from it because Route 30 is such an awful road elsewhere I was afraid to climb it with trucks and boats and campers and all that sort of traffic wizzing past at highway speeds. But I was wrong--there was plenty of traffic, but the road has a shoulder the width of a small house, is relatively free of debris, and for half the climb the ascending traffic has two lanes as well. So no worries. And it was a great climb. Looks like 1700 feet total, which I think is a touch more than Big Flat, with a much steeper and more steady pitch--the later a benefit of climbing on a highway made to US Department of Transportation specs.


Riding 76 miles alone takes a lot more out of you than riding the same distance with others. Obviously being able to sit on a wheel once in a while makes a huge difference, but I think just having company does too. I'm pretty confident that just having someone sit on my wheel would have increased the trip average speed by .5 to 1 mph.

I like riding alone too, of course. But today I had a pretty depressing book loaded on the iPod and it took a bit of the joy out of the ride.


Another thought: I love to race, but I'm not sure if I look forward more to race day Saturdays or long ride Saturdays like today. Without the car travel and all that, the later sure leaves a lot more of the day for other stuff.

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