Well, I finally did my ride. Most of it, anyway. I made it 50 miles feeling very good, but "bonked" soon after. The next 30 miles were purely on willpower alone, but I got picked up by my brother, Stick, and rode in his car the rest of the way. I figure 80 miles isn't too bad for someone who hasn't biked over 30 miles in as many years!
I sent pic messages home the whole way. Here is how my ride went:
You may have seen this pic already, and only two things have changed, but here is the first image of my completed restoration. Since this picture was taken, I had to replace the saddle with one which does not cause pain, and my front axle was having MAJOR issues, so I ended up replacing the whole front wheel! The new one is a little stiff, but SO much better. And lighter! At this point, there were only minor adjustments left to make, like re-tightening the brakes and setting the gears.
From my text: "First leg in one hour. Feeling good. Still thawing out. Not going to be too hot today!"
My favorite shadow I cast all day. This was still early in the ride, and you can easily see the sun was at my back. I was glad I was on a back road, because I must have looked a little silly riding down the side holding my camera while pedaling so I could get a shot of my shadow down the road...
Don't know if you can really see the horns on this guy. MASSIVE, especially at the base!
And I thought I would never get back there....
"2 1/2 hours. Even stopped to take pics. Still feel good. Officially the longest ride ever. So far. Now just adding on."
This was right before breakfast. I was in the public restroom at the park, and realized I did not have a picture of my full "uniform." Ignore the scratched mirror. This picture shows me how much more weight I still need to lose. though....
"The birthplace of my ride." The very store where I bought my bike.
"3 1/2 hours. Including rest stop!" This is also the town where the bike trail starts.
"4 hours. Feeling tired but still good. Might stop and walk around in a bit." I actually waited awhile longer to stop.
"4 1/2 hours. Almost halfway."
This is a train tunnel that you can see if you are riding the bike trail up the canyon. It has been out of use a looooong time!
"The Cathedral." Can you see the organist? You can see this from the trail, the road, or the river. But only on the trail can you stop and really look at it....
"Almost 6 1/2 hours! The last hour was all climbing! Tired!"
In fact, I was so tired, that I did the math wrong. I think this was only 5 1/2 hours. Pretty mountain. I have passed it MANY times, but have never climbed on it! Still haven't! Even camped there once. Maybe I should have camped there again, and continued the next day! This was my last stop before I bonked!
"Flat tire...." This was the last picture I took on my ride. Two hours later, I was only about twenty miles further up the road, but still had 45 miles of pure climbing ahead of me! Every mile was uphill, it seemed. Even going downhill, I had a headwind, so struggled.
All in all, this was a great experience, and I am NOT done! I plan to get in better shape and try again next year! I think next time, I will try coming BACK, so I can ride DOWNHILL most of the way and save my legs! Maybe a nice tailwind, too.... If you have bike trails near you, TAKE ADVANTAGE of them! What a fun time! Just make sure you have a light bike, a soft saddle, and provisions!
I want to thank all those who contributed to my 80 miles of successful riding. First, my brother, Stick, for his advice in tweaking the final touches on the bike, and for taking me to the shop where I got some parts. Not to mention throwing my bike in his car and letting me have a ride in air-conditioning the last 45 miles!
Next, my neighbor, Bike Guy for all his advice. Thirdly, my wife, LadyBug, for putting up with my obsession and allowing me my eccentricities. Fourth, my friend, Piano Pythons for all her health, nutrition, and exercise tips.