Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rain Ride

Once again I had plans to put in big miles today, but I just couldn't motivate myself to do it. I simply wasn't in the mood for a long ride on the road bike.

The sky looked threatening, but the clowns on the local news assured me that the rain wouldn't come until 3 p.m. I lubed up the mountain bike, threw it in the truck and headed out for a ride around Granite Bay.

At 10:00 it started raining. Yeah, they missed the forecast by five hours. Thanks Channel Three!

It was a light rain for the first hour, so it didn't bother me much, especially when under the trees.

After a while the moisture content of the soil was perfect. I was railing around the corners. I'm slowly learning how to ride a bike with a more laid-back head angle.

My cushy new fork gives me enough confidence to do stupid stuff like taking one-handed pictures going down hill:

When the water is low in the summer, Folsom Lake can be kind of ugly. Now it has some character.

On the way back it started raining harder to the point of making it muddy.

I took a short break under a bridge to dry off and eat a granola bar. A woman jogger approached me and stopped, unsure of whether she should enter the darkness with the creepy guy. I assured her I wasn't a troll and she reluctantly ran past me.

I finished up my ride a little cold and wet. I had just enough time for a bite to eat before picking up my son at school. Fun little ride, and way better than grinding out mindless miles on the road bike.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Best Laid Plans

I had every intention of doing 60 or 70 miles today since I am way, way behind on my May mileage. As I was preparing to leave my son said, "I want to go." He hasn't wanted to ride with me since last summer, so I couldn't turn him down.

Well, there was no way he could handle being in the saddle for the four hours or so I had planned on riding. Also, there was no way I could pull an extra 80 pounds around for that long either. I switched out the road bike for the Fargo and off we went.

We started in Folsom and rode across the new bike trail by the dam. A couple weeks ago there were three gates open, so obviously the runoff has slowed a bit.

Still, the lake is high. I like all the cool little inlets created by the high water. I saw lots of fishermen exploring the shoreline.

The Fargo is a big bike even when I'm standing next to it.

Spencer enjoyed himself despite slamming a pedal into his shin earlier in the ride. I know how much that hurts, so I was impressed with his toughness.

We rode bike trail, dirt roads and singletrack.

We turned around out by Beeks Bight, which was at about the 10-mile mark. We ended up with 20 miles for the trip—far short of my goal, but it was fun. My legs are completely blown, much more so than they would have been after a long road ride.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bike Month 2011

Once again it's May and that means Bike Month for us in Sacramento. Like an idiot I pledged more miles than I am really capable of, and I'm already behind.

Today I got out for a 60 miler and felt pretty good despite the wind. My legs had more miles in them, but I had limited time between dropping my son off at school and picking him up.

I snapped this picture to text to my friend Bill during my ride. I like it for many reasons that anyone who knows Bill understands.

One interesting thing of note: check out the curved shadow of the spokes. Why is this?

There are a lot of things happening here. The spokes are casting a shadow on the ground, but the ends of the spokes (near the tire) are traveling much faster than near the center of the wheel. The sunlight, casting a shadow of these objects moving at different speeds along their length, then reflects off a surface moving at 20 miles per hour under me.

My guess is, being a camera phone, the shutter speed is probably pretty slow. I assume between the time the shutter opens to let the light in and when it closes there is enough time for the faster part of the shadow to move relative to the slower part, causing the curved effect. Just a guess.

In other news I saw the first rattler of the year, a big boy. An attractive young lady, running in an outfit better suited to a strip club than a bike trail, stopped and asked me to please not hurt the snake because "she just loves big ol' snakes."

This kind of thing only happens when you get old.