Tuesday, January 19, 2010


With all the other cool posts on friends' blogs today, I want to give them a quick shout.  Check out Barry and the CLM blog.  Fun stuff. 

Tonight I was scheduled to do a 25 mile night ride, then ride 14 miles (2 laps) at Salem Lake on Thursday night.  Well, weather was looking iffy for Thursday (Salem Lake + rain = mud) so I modified my plans and rode from the house to Salem Lake, did a lap, and came home.  This totalled around 19 miles, which is actually a little less than I expected. 

There is a virtually flat Greenway that connects Old Salem to Salem Lake, so I rolled quickly to the dirt and gravel path that surrounds the lake.  First obstacle, however, was the creek.  Usually tame and to be found resting under the low concrete bridges, I had to roll through 4-6 inches of water at three crossings due to recent rains.  Shoulda known!  

Once on the trail, I got a feel for how to pedal and handle the road bike through turns, in and out of the saddle, and around others (poor, poor pedestrians) at speed.  Where the path was dry, speeds of 19-21 mph were very doable, but as I crossed to the low side of the lake, the ground was wet and muddy in places. 

There are upsides to slowing down, of course:  1).  It gives one a chance to get a heartrate of 175 while going 12 mph, and 2) you may pause to notice this:

Ah, what a view!  Thus inspired, I made the best of the mud and cranked it.  I admit it worked pretty well until, within 2 miles of the end I had to face the harsh reality of riding worn road tires on rocks and dirt:

PSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHhhh....flop flop flop.

Yep, a flat.  Luckily, I brough a spare so I changed it up and kept rolling.  It was getting pretty dark by this time so I fired up the light and put my head down.  Time to go home.

There is a strange sense of emerging from the wilderness when riding from Salem Lake back through downtown Winston-Salem at twilight.  After spending nearly an hour in solitude, I popped out of the Greenway and on to Main Street, filled with cars of folks speeding home after work.  I smiled to myself, with my mud-splattered bike, spare tire in action, and soaked shoes. 

I was excited to see how trashed the bike was.  I feel a trip to the bike shop for some BB and bearing work coming soon...
Next up...hmmm, not sure.  Might be rained out on Thursday, but I don't mind a little rain...we'll see.

Almost forgot.  The Stats:

Route:  HM (our house on Horace Mann Ave) to Glade St --> 4th --> Main Street to Old Salem Greenway.  One lap of Salem Lake then return by the same route.
Dist:  18.05mi
Time:  1:04.19
Avg:  16.8mph

Metabolic: I spent 81% of the workout over 150bpm, but this is pretty messy as I think it collected info while I was sitting at stoplights and for some portion of the tire change. 


bicycle spaniard said...

Sounds like a great ride, E. Good to get the first flat out of the way as well. Are you going to use these same tires all the way up to and through the Battenkill race? I mean, how does off-road wear impact road tires over time? Also, caking the Cervelo with some dirt looks pretty good!
Soon I can start sneaking out on some of those gravel graters with you!

Erich said...

Spoke with Hekman about this, and he recommended a set of bontrager hard case tires. Somewhat heavy, but a little weight is better than a flat...in this race a flat = out of contention.

I will likely ride my current tires (Continental Force/Attack staggered combo) through my training and get two new sets of tires in about 6-8 weeks - one heavy (like the bontragers) and one standard (maybe Continentals again). I'll take both sets to NY and see how the weather looks that day. You got any ideas?

cameron said...

Conti makes the Gatorskin for just such an occasion. If you like Conti's (I do) it would be a good choice.

Erich said...

Cam - Thanks. I've checked on these also. Some reviews say their wet traction is poor. I must research more...

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