Saturday, February 28, 2009

February Finale

A hard-fought fifty miles today, the last day of February. Wind, wind, and more wind! Predominantly out of the North, but seemingly gusting from all directions, I didn't see a hint of tailwind until making the turn back south from Rt. 25, after 35 miles.

I was thinking this could have been a wet ride due to last night's rain but the steady wind dried things up. I was out the door by 7:30 AM, roads were dry, and although it was still on the cold side (mid 30's), the big factor was the wind.

Did the usual Brands route out and back on the LIE service road, then a loop through West Hills. On the way back, I hooked up with Harvey (from the Brands group) on Central Ave. and we rode together back to Brands. I continued on home and promptly scarfed down my regular post-ride snack, yogurt with granola and fruit.

Glad to get a good ride in today, tomorrow looks like its going to be a rainout, but I hope not!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Short Ride to Beat the Rain

Rain forecast for the morning so I had to play it by ear in terms of what kind of ride I could do. Warmer temperatures in the 40's but gray skies. I decided to do a shorter route and take the beater bike, just in case. Again, thinking I might get caught in the rain, I wore wind/water-proof kit. I turned out that it was a little too much and after five miles, I ended up doing the rest of the ride with my jacket unzipped and flapping in the wind.

A good ride, windy, but I was glad to beat the rain. Within 20 minutes after I got home, the rain started!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Winter is Still in Here

Cold and windy today, 28F and 15 MPH wind out of the west. Delayed my ride start to 8:00AM to give the sun a little more time to warm things up. Usual Brands route and West Hills. Roads are in good shape, just sandy on the shoulders. Surprised I didn't see any other roadies out.

I've been enjoying the Amgen Tour of California coverage on Versus every night! I wish there was more!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Too Many Flats!

A day off from work today for President's Day. Temp still right at 32F, but I dressed warm and headed out early today, at 7:15 AM. Legs feeling a little rubbery after two long rides on Saturday and Sunday.

Headed up Round Swamp Rd. and made the right onto the LIE service round without even thinking about it. I was soon reminded that not everyone had the day off today as I encountered the caffiene-fueled, rush-hour crazed, maniacs on their way to work. I did an about-face as soon as it was safe to do so and went back to Round Swamp Rd. and up through West Hills.

Tailwind on the way back south. After I made the right onto Central Ave. I felt the bike's handling start to deteriorate. You guessed it, another flat tire! On the front this time. I shouldn't be surprised as the front tire has about 10,000 miles on it. As I struggled to get the tire off the rim, I could see that the rubber is in pretty bad shape, so I'm resigned that I need some new tires. I think I'll try and get some Continental Gatorskins and try to fend off these flats for the rest of the winter and spring.

Anyway, after changing the flat, I just took the direct route home for a total of 35 miles. A few less miles than I wanted but a good recovery ride nonetheless.

Fresh rubber!!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

More Sun and More Wind

Same ride as yesterday: Brands route and West Hills. A little bit later start due to some work issues, out the door by 8:30 AM. More sun today but also more wind, again, out of the North. I passed Mike W. on his way back on Seaman's Neck road.

No flat today, but I was still constantly checking the tire throughout the ride. Good workout, all-in-all.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Working on the Base Miles

Cold morning, right around freezing, but roads were clear and dry. Had my usual pre-ride breakfast of coffee and oatmeal then suited up in full cold weather kit. Out the door by 7:40 AM. Immediately into a headwind blowing from the North, but nothing too epic.

As I made my way up Round Swamp Rd. and onto the LIE service road, I felt like the bike's handling was a little off and that I was bouncing around in the saddle. Glanced at my back wheel to check for the telltale deflection in the tire that it was flat but it looked ok. I checked it constantly on the ride West but thought maybe I just lost a few pounds of pressure due to the cold temps. Even got off the bike at one point to squeeze the tire but it felt firm enough.

By mile 26, there was no doubt that it was going flat. So, I pulled over, got out a spare tube, tire levers, and CO2, and 10 minutes and one scraped knuckle later, flat was fixed.

Roads were sandy but dry, so I included the West Hills loop. Ended up with a nice 50 mile, solo ride. Legs felt strong but quads were burning on the last few little climbs. Looking to get in another one tomorrow, but depends on work.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Warm, Windy, And Wet

Same route as yesterday, 44.4 miles in 2 hrs. 31 min., but much different conditions. Temperature range was 43F at the start and up to 56F by the end. I ditched the shoe covers, AmFib tights, Barrier jacket, and ski gloves. I was comfortable on the entire ride with knickers, base layer, SS jersey and LS jersey. It was so great to be out riding in warm weather without all the extra clothing.

The tradeoff was a ridiculous wind out of the west, gusting to 30 MPH! I was really grinding up those little rollers on the LIE service road into the wind. It was a really good workout.

Also, roads were very wet from melting snow and dew. Mixed with all the road salt and sand, it was a messy ride. The bike and I were covered with by the end of the ride, looking like a vision out of Paris-Roubaix.

Back from today's ride.

Covered with road salt and sand.

I don't know how long the warm weather will last but is was great finally getting outside again!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Ride Through a Snowy Landscape

Pretty good weather today, so I hit the road for 45 miles on the Specialized. Roads were nice and dry. A little sand and salt but no ice on the main roads. Side roads are still a little dodgy, so I skipped the loop through West Hills. Snow still plentiful elsewhere and it was cool riding through this landscape, especially around the Bethpage golf courses.

Been communicating with a couple of the Brands riders, might hook up for a ride tomorrow.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Good Start to the Month of February

Unusually warm today, at least compared to what January has been like. Finally got out for a long-ish road ride today, 41 miles along the usual Brands (LIE) route. Temps were reasonable, 36F - 40F, but quite windy on the return leg of the ride. Roads all clear of ice and snow, which was the main thing keeping me off the road lately.

Saw a few other riders out, as well. Legs felt really good considering I haven't ridden more than 30 miles in over a month, and only two rides over 15 miles in the whole month of January.

On the blog front, I'm going to start posting my daily rides on my Twitter feed instead of Velog, just seems a bit redundant at this point, plus, I can update twitter from my phone.