Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

An Ordinary Day

Old 11-26-07, 09:58 AM
  #1  
Neil_B
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Mentioned: Post(s)
Tagged: Thread(s)
Quoted: Post(s)
An Ordinary Day

I love being a transportational cyclist. Even an ordinary day becomes a bike ride.

Take yesterday, for instance. I had three destinations for the day:

- attend church;

- go to the gym;

- hang out downtown in Phoenixville.

And here's how I rolled to them:

The first step was preparation. It was cold this morning, so I needed to dress warmly. I was attending church and visiting the gym, so I needed clothing that would not be out of place in either location. And I was riding Roark, a bike without a rack. So any clothing would need to be worn or carried in a backpack.

Under the circumstances bike gear was out. So I dressed in my mountain bike shorts, leg warmers, a compression shirt and t shirt, a dress shirt and casual pants, tie, two layers of socks - base layer cotton, top layer wool - and black athletic shoes. This in addition to my helmet, winter riding gloves, fleece jacket, and yellow commuter jacket. I carried another pair of bike shorts, a small towel, and a clean t shirt in my backpack, along with bike tools, spare tube, etc. With my right pant leg rolled up and tucked into my sock, I looked like the oldest, fattest bike messenger in the world. And the best dressed - I can't imagine a bike messenger wearing a tie.

First church. I rolled out at 9:38 AM, a little late, and reached the church parking lot at 9:59. Not bad for the cold weather and having to walk part of the one big hill on the four mile route. My fellow church members were stunned I rode in this weather. It was cold, but it was dry and sunny - ideal riding weather. I was a little damp from the ride; I was perhaps overinsulated. It didn't help the church was overheated.

Bikes came up in the pastor's sermon. The topic was based on the parable of the sower, and the pastor connected the "thorny ground" with things that deter us from completing tasks in secular life. "Anyone ever start an exercise program?" he asked. Hands went up all over the church. "Anyone ever abandon an exercise program?" More hands raised. "My wife and I just purchased bicycles, and it's easy to put something off, isn't it?" Someone behind me clapped me on the shoulder at this point. After the service, I offered to ride with the pastor and his wife. We'll try to set up a time during the warmer weather.

By now it was 11:30, and I was getting hungry. I pulled out of the church parking lot. A few hundred feet later a big red truck sped by me. He gave me more than enough room, but I was perplexed to discover a church member was a leadfoot.

I pedaled the mile and a half to a WaWa and ate in their parking lot. Then down into Phoenixville and onto my gym. I was on PA Rt. 724, so I rolled down, thinking it was all downhill. It tuns out there was a tough climb in the middle, which I barely made up in my lowest gear. The bad road shoulder didn't help. But once over that, I was cruising at 27 MPH into the intersection with Rt. 23. Then onto Rt. 113, Bridge Street in Phoenixville, and over the river to Mont Clare and Oaks.

On arriving at my gym, I removed my outer clothing, shirt, tie, pants, and wool socks, and was prepared to lift. My mountain bike shorts look like gym shorts, except tighter. After lifting and stretching for about a half-hour I showered. I then changed into the other pair of bike shorts, the other, clean t shirt, and wore the wool socks, leaving the cotton ones in the backpack. I dressed as I had when I arrived, but I left the leg warmers in my pocket.

Riding in street clothes is a new experience for me. It's different, but I don't know if it's an improvement or not over bike gear. Yes, it's nice to have pants pockets, but my pants are loose in the seat, a concession to having a 46 inch waist. It's odd to feel all that fabric under me. And I miss the stiff soles of my cycling shoes.

Stiff sole or not, it was now after 2:00 PM, and if I wanted to hang out downtown, I needed to pedal. So off I rode, backtracking to Bridge Street in Phoenixville. I stopped at the Steel City Coffeehouse, ordered hot chocolate, a muffin, and a turkey wrap, and sat outside at a table reading the latest Dirt Rag, bike chained to a bench. Food consumed, I went across the street to a bookstore and fed my addiction. My backpack became very heavy. I'll leave it at that.

Heavy backpack or not, it was off to home. I knew the hills to expect, and they were as expected. Still, I climbed every one. I arrived just before sunset, at 4:50. Cars had their headlights on. I parked the bike, removed my outer layers, drank some iced tea, and fell asleep for a couple of hours. My bike computer shows 29.5 miles for the day - average speed 11 MPH and change.

An ordinary day, as I said. But I'll not trade it for anything.
 
Old 11-26-07, 10:16 AM
  #2  
Neil_B
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Mentioned: Post(s)
Tagged: Thread(s)
Quoted: Post(s)
Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
I love being a transportational cyclist. Even an ordinary day becomes a bike ride.

Take yesterday, for instance. I had three destinations for the day:

- attend church;

- go to the gym;

- hang out downtown in Phoenixville.

And here's how I rolled to them:

The first step was preparation. It was cold this morning, so I needed to dress warmly. I was attending church and visiting the gym, so I needed clothing that would not be out of place in either location. And I was riding Roark, a bike without a rack. So any clothing would need to be worn or carried in a backpack.

Under the circumstances bike gear was out. So I dressed in my mountain bike shorts, leg warmers, a compression shirt and t shirt, a dress shirt and casual pants, tie, two layers of socks - base layer cotton, top layer wool - and black athletic shoes. This in addition to my helmet, winter riding gloves, fleece jacket, and yellow commuter jacket. I carried another pair of bike shorts, a small towel, and a clean t shirt in my backpack, along with bike tools, spare tube, etc. With my right pant leg rolled up and tucked into my sock, I looked like the oldest, fattest bike messenger in the world. And the best dressed - I can't imagine a bike messenger wearing a tie.

First church. I rolled out at 9:38 AM, a little late, and reached the church parking lot at 9:59. Not bad for the cold weather and having to walk part of the one big hill on the four mile route. My fellow church members were stunned I rode in this weather. It was cold, but it was dry and sunny - ideal riding weather. I was a little damp from the ride; I was perhaps overinsulated. It didn't help the church was overheated.

Bikes came up in the pastor's sermon. The topic was based on the parable of the sower, and the pastor connected the "thorny ground" with things that deter us from completing tasks in secular life. "Anyone ever start an exercise program?" he asked. Hands went up all over the church. "Anyone ever abandon an exercise program?" More hands raised. "My wife and I just purchased bicycles, and it's easy to put something off, isn't it?" Someone behind me clapped me on the shoulder at this point. After the service, I offered to ride with the pastor and his wife. We'll try to set up a time during the warmer weather.

By now it was 11:30, and I was getting hungry. I pulled out of the church parking lot. A few hundred feet later a big red truck sped by me. He gave me more than enough room, but I was perplexed to discover a church member was a leadfoot.

I pedaled the mile and a half to a WaWa and ate in their parking lot. Then down into Phoenixville and onto my gym. I was on PA Rt. 724, so I rolled down, thinking it was all downhill. It tuns out there was a tough climb in the middle, which I barely made up in my lowest gear. The bad road shoulder didn't help. But once over that, I was cruising at 27 MPH into the intersection with Rt. 23. Then onto Rt. 113, Bridge Street in Phoenixville, and over the river to Mont Clare and Oaks.

On arriving at my gym, I removed my outer clothing, shirt, tie, pants, and wool socks, and was prepared to lift. My mountain bike shorts look like gym shorts, except tighter. After lifting and stretching for about a half-hour I showered. I then changed into the other pair of bike shorts, the other, clean t shirt, and wore the wool socks, leaving the cotton ones in the backpack. I dressed as I had when I arrived, but I left the leg warmers in my pocket.

Riding in street clothes is a new experience for me. It's different, but I don't know if it's an improvement or not over bike gear. Yes, it's nice to have pants pockets, but my pants are loose in the seat, a concession to having a 46 inch waist. It's odd to feel all that fabric under me. And I miss the stiff soles of my cycling shoes.

Stiff sole or not, it was now after 2:00 PM, and if I wanted to hang out downtown, I needed to pedal. So off I rode, backtracking to Bridge Street in Phoenixville. I stopped at the Steel City Coffeehouse, ordered hot chocolate, a muffin, and a turkey wrap, and sat outside at a table reading the latest Dirt Rag, bike chained to a bench. Food consumed, I went across the street to a bookstore and fed my addiction. My backpack became very heavy. I'll leave it at that.

Heavy backpack or not, it was off to home. I knew the hills to expect, and they were as expected. Still, I climbed every one. I arrived just before sunset, at 4:50. Cars had their headlights on. I parked the bike, removed my outer layers, drank some iced tea, and fell asleep for a couple of hours. My bike computer shows 29.5 miles for the day - average speed 11 MPH and change.

An ordinary day, as I said. But I'll not trade it for anything.
I forgot to add there was 1500 feet of climbing. Much of it was on the way to church. Talk about a city on a hill! :-)
 
Old 11-26-07, 01:12 PM
  #3  
SSP
Software for Cyclists
 
SSP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Redding, California
Posts: 4,618

Bikes: Trek 5200, Specialized MTB

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Cool...nice report.

Last Saturday morning I rode my new Surly LHT build to the local farmer's market to buy locally grown organic produce for the week. And then in the afternoon I did my weekly grocery shopping trip using the same bike (with panniers, this is more feasible than with a backpack).

Besides getting "free exercise", there's also the feeling of "righteousness" from using a bike instead of a car to run simple errands around town.

"Burn Glycogen, not Gas" is my new motto.
SSP is offline  
Old 11-27-07, 09:15 AM
  #4  
Neil_B
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Mentioned: Post(s)
Tagged: Thread(s)
Quoted: Post(s)
Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
I forgot to add there was 1500 feet of climbing. Much of it was on the way to church. Talk about a city on a hill! :-)
Another ordinary day, this time the day before:

My natural tendency toward indolence cropped up again today. I love riding, but I love sitting in front of a computer more. Also, it's warm, or at least warmer, inside than outside. For both these reasons, and more, I didn't get out today until about 1:30 PM. I rode Excelsior over to Bikesport, where I did a 'trade in'; they had Roark in for a check-up, and since I have only one set of pedal extenders, I had them take the extenders off Excelsior and move them to Roark, and I rode Roark home. The shop is holding Ex until I pick him up next week. Then it's a matter of getting pedal extenders for him so I can ride either bike without needing to change pedals.

Sun, a recumbent bike manufacturer that made the extenders I have on Roark, had a quality control issue with the last batch they made, and so they are out of stock. I may need to order Kneesavers, another brand of extender, although paying five times as much as I did for the Sun product irks me. Oh well.

Even though I was riding on Ex, the twelve miles seemed to fly by. I thought I rode strongly, getting to the shop in less than an hour and ten minutes. Perhaps the 40 degree weather helped me along. Once there, I warmed up with tea and conversation, and 45 minutes later I rode to my gym. This morning I'm a little sore from my upper body lifting, which is a positive sign. I then rode home, stopping to pick up dinner and warm up. I got in about 5:30, headlight on and blinker flashing.

I'm getting the hang of winter riding, but there are some problems to be worked out. One is cold feet. No, not just my reluctance to ride in the cold, but literal cold feet. My Specialized MTB shoes don't keep out the cold. Also, I didn't wear tights, and while I didn't feel too cold when the sun was out, once dusk arrived, my legs longed for them. Shorts and knee warmers aren't cutting it in sub 40 degree weather.

24 miles total for the day. 2722 for the year.
 
Old 11-27-07, 09:49 AM
  #5  
SSP
Software for Cyclists
 
SSP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Redding, California
Posts: 4,618

Bikes: Trek 5200, Specialized MTB

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
I'm getting the hang of winter riding, but there are some problems to be worked out. One is cold feet. No, not just my reluctance to ride in the cold, but literal cold feet. My Specialized MTB shoes don't keep out the cold.
DeFeet Woolie Boolies...soft, not itchy, and about as as warm as lighter weight shoe covers.

I use mine, without shoe covers, down to the upper 30's.
SSP is offline  
Old 12-01-07, 06:12 PM
  #6  
Neil_B
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Mentioned: Post(s)
Tagged: Thread(s)
Quoted: Post(s)
Originally Posted by SSP View Post
DeFeet Woolie Boolies...soft, not itchy, and about as as warm as lighter weight shoe covers.

I use mine, without shoe covers, down to the upper 30's.
Today was another struggle against the lure of the hearth. I would have loved nothing better than to remain inside drinking tea and reading a good book while logs crackled in the fireplace and the wind roared outside. But I forced myself to get dressed for a ride in the 37 degree weather. I donned bib shorts, leg warmers, a pair of bike socks with wool hiking socks over them, a compression shirt, long sleeved bike jersey, a lightweight wool sweater, my fleece jacket and yellow cycling jacket, helmet, winter riding gloves, balaclava, and hiking boots. I added a handlebar bag to the bike, and carried a backpack and a pocket messenger bag from Banjo Brothers. And off we went at 1:30 this afternoon.

My first stop was a WaWa on Rt. 724, about 5 miles from the house. I hadn't eaten lunch before leaving, and I needed to remove the wool sweater. Fueling completed, I continued two or so miles into Royersford to investigate a thrift store I'd seen on Main Street. The book selection was completely uninteresting, and there were no curios I liked. However, a model railroad club was meeting in the store's back room, and I stopped in to see the trains on display. Men are boys grown old, they say, and I enjoyed watching the group's rolling stock make the circuit of the track.

The trains made up for the hard time I was given by the woman running the thrift store. There was nowhere good to lock up the bike, and the woman at the counter was very quick with "no" when I asked about places to tie up to. I locked up to the sign advertising the model railroad club when her back was turned. It wasn't ideal, but I thought it safe for a few minutes.

When I tired of the trains, I swung my caboose into the saddle and rode off towards Phoenixville. Instead of riding up Bridge Street in Spring City and riding down Rt 724, or following the river through Spring City, I took Second Avenue in Royersford till it met Rt. 113. This route seems to avoid the traffic of 724 and the hilly grading of following the river through Spring City. The only drawback is there is little or no shoulder much of the ride. But the view of the Schuylkill River as I crossed on the Rt. 113 bridge was worth the trouble; the winter late-afternoon sun was reflecting off the river with a beauty that's hard for me to describe. Two years ago I was 385 pounds and largely immobile, and I never would have been able to experience such a moment. I was so moved I nearly dismounted because it wouldn't be safe for me to continue riding in such a state. Of course stopping on a narrow bridge shoulder isn't safe either. Fortunately I realized my second chance at life meant nothing if I throw it away gawking at the river, so I pedaled on into Phoenixville.

Once in town, I visited a couple of shops, had hot chocolate and a muffin at the Steel City Coffeehouse, and headed back home. I was unable to make the left in traffic onto Rt. 113 from Rt. 23, so I continued on Rt. 23 until I came to Redner's Market, where I could make a left and take a back road to 113. From there I went to Kimberton Whole Foods, stuffed dinner into my Banjo Brothers bag, and rode up and down the five miles of hills to my home.

My total ride was 20 miles, with 1300 feet of climbing. A third of that distance was with a backpack stuffed with gear and books, and for the last five miles I added a messenger bag with sandwiches, iced tea, a brownie, and apples. My speed was less than 10 MPH - not as good as last week, but last week wasn't as cold, and I was better hydrated. I didn't drink during the ride today - my usual bad habit.

My three new pieces of gear proved their worth. The messenger bag, a simple nylon bag with a snap closure, proved handy to bring home dinner. The Performance Bike handlebar bag, while it didn't fit properly on my bars, did hold tools and my lock acceptably. I will need to tinker with it to make it fit better.

But best of all were my hiking boots. They are much warmer than my cycling shoes, and they have a stiffer sole than my athletic shoes. And since I rarely hike these days because of the condition of my knees, I'm putting something I own to better use than serving as a dust-collector.
 

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.