Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The over 40 ride: Planning

The planning and facing an anathema.

I'd needed to toughen myself up for longer and longer rides if I expected to do a 60 mile day at some point. The most miles I'd gone in a single day was 40 and I was loopy at the end of that day. I'd not drank enough, I think... or maybe I hadn't eaten enough... I'm not sure, but I know I'd be doing lots of liquid and food consumption on any subsequent long rides, that's for sure. Lesson learned.

I needed a place to ride where I didn't have the distractions of traffic, shopping, bumping into friends, etc.... somewhere that I could just go for miles and miles.... Oh, hey... how about that awesome trail right near my house?

I'd decided to swap the Monster and Ruby for a ride with Ruby on the Montour trail to see if I could rack up some miles on an 'out and back' trip to Moon Township.

That's 48 miles of trail and a mile or two on our *shudder* roads to the trailhead from my house. That mile or so to the trailhead was something I wanted to conquer. It was frightening to me, even as much experience I'd gained in the past year riding the urban streets of Pittsburgh, this short hop seemed daunting. It was on single-laned windy roads with a 35 MPH speed limit and scant roadside in some sections. Having driven these roads for many years, I know that drivers take these turns a high speeds and aren't expecting to see cyclists out here. Nobody cycles in the South Hills... not sane people, anyway. I was about to baptize myself in the insanity that is cycling the roads of the South Hills. I hated having to load my bike on the back of the car for a measly 1.2 mile drive. Seriously? 1.2 miles? I should be doing that on the bike instead of wasting gas and troubling myself with loading the bike onto the car and the unloading it again. If you saw what I need to do to wrangle the bike on/off the back of the car, you'd know what I'm talking about.

My Harrow-ing ride.
Still, I preferred the traffic of the city, even with the murderous buses, taxis and such to the drivers and roads of the South Hills any day. If I nave a nemesis, an intangible one, I think this might be it.

The Monster had been sitting idle in the garage for 4 months. Yeesh, 4 months. I'd driven my car into her the other day when I pulled into the garage and felt incredibly guilty about it, as if I'd done it on purpose. She was unscathed, I'd just tapped her. Even so, it was adding insult to the injury of 4 months of languish.
This trip would run about 50 miles total. Googlemaps says it should take me 4 hours and 15 minutes. I figure with a few breaks along the way I can do it in 5 and a half hours. I'd pack lunch, snacks, lots of water and be certain to pick up an extra battery for my phone.
That's the plan.

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