Tuesday Morning Solo RUSA Ride

Tuesday Morning Solo RUSA Ride

Threat of rain this morning. I am on a mission to ride 100k today, tomorrow, and the next day. So I didn’t care if I got rained on this morning. Departed a little before 7AM. And was over at the 7-Eleven to start the ride at 6:52. Last a little over 4 hours. A nice quick 100k ride.

I was on the Cinelli. It rode well. It’s been a while since I got out alone and just rode. Can’t say I feel great riding these days. But I’m doing OK. The nice thing about today’s ride was it was not cold nor hot. I got misted on a little during the last 10 miles of the ride. But I never got wet. Never got spray in my face.

Click on the map below to see the recording of today’s ride at RWGPS.

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Saturday All-Day Group RUSA Ride

Saturday All-Day Group RUSA Ride

I met Mary F in New Egypt this morning at 5 AM. We were going to do her new 300k perm today. Turned out to be a beautiful day for a bike ride. Kind of cool temps when we started. The middle of the day warmed up pretty good. Thus the middle metric century was definitely the toughest of the three we rode today. And after it got dark things cooled off well so it was very comfortable finishing up the ride. All in all, the ride took 16 hours and 39 minutes.

We had one detour over in Pennsylvania. A road was blocked due to a road crew trimming vegetation along the sides of the road. And the detour included a road with a bridge out. So Mary and I had to walk our bikes around the missing bridge where workman obviously walked to do their jobs. The walk was a little tricky. No crashes today. No incidents. Just a nice long ride. Had a great time. I was riding my Cinelli since my Felt is in the shop.

Click on the map below to see the recording I made during the ride.

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Ride and Smile!

Ride and Smile!

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How to Organize a Cycling Event

How to Organize a Cycling Event

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Simple Steps to Designing a Bike Route

Simple Steps to Designing a Bike Route

I use three (3) online sites to help me design a bike route where the roads are not too busy and usually paved. They are:

The first step is to identify where I want the ride to start and end. Usually they are the same place. And usually I want there to be ample parking options for my car, and I want a convenience store that is open 24/7. I use Google Maps to help me here. I do a search for the town of the start-finish. Then I do a search for convenience stores from which I will pick a start-finish location. I copy down the address of the convenience store on a piece of paper.

The next step is to do a rough sketch of where I want the ride to go. I use RWGPS for this step. It has a Route Planner mode and when I get to it I type the address for the convenience store I’ve chosen. I also plot the route using the “draw lines” option rather than “follow streets.” Doing this I can easily see the towns I’ll need to hit in order to make the route the length I’m aiming for. When I’m happy with this, then I need to repeat the first step but this time I’m searching for convenience stores in the towns along my sketched route. I copy the addresses of the convenience stores I find onto a piece of paper.

The next step is to return to RWGPS and type the addresses I’ve written down where RWGPS lets me search for a location. I click the option for “follow roads” instead of “draw lines.” And I let the program create a route from one convenience store to the next, to the next, and so forth until I’m back as the first convenience store.

The next step is to save my creation as a route in RWGPS. And then I create a simple cue sheet on paper by zooming in on the RWGPS route and identifying the start, intersections, and the finish with mileage count and whether you have to go straight, left, or right. This simple handwritten cue sheet allows me to determine whether the roads are good for bike riding.

The next step is to visit HWG and do a search for the first convenience store in the paper cue sheet I’ve created. The roads at HWG are color-coded with regard to their level of traffic. Red roads are off-limits for bike riders. Bright Yellow roads are usually heavy traffic roads and cyclists generally should avoid them. Dull Yellow roads are moderate traffic roads and pretty good for cyclists. And White Roads are either rural roads or neighborhood roads with little to no traffic – ideal for cyclists if they go somewhere. I will now use my cue sheet to see what HWG says about each of the roads on my route. I will mark the cue sheet next to each road with either an R, BY, DY, or W to let me know if I have a safe route for cyclists. Roads marked with an R or BY need to be revisited so I can change the route so it will not include those roads.

Google Maps does not do a very good job of identifying unpaved roads. And if I want to avoid unpaved roads in my bike route, then I also look for unpaved roads when using HWG to determine the safeness of roads. HWG does a pretty good job of identifying unpaved roads.

The next step is to modify the route at RWGPS so it does not have unsafeĀ  and/or unpaved roads included in it. This step might require some back and forth consultation with HWG.

That, in a nutshell, is how I create cycling routes.

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Saturday Morning PFW B Group Ride

Saturday Morning PFW B Group Ride

This morning when I got up I was not sure whether I wanted to go for a swim, go for a bike ride, or just veg-out. It was kind of overcast after sunrise. So it might have been a nice morning to go for a bike ride. I wasn’t in the mood to do one alone. I didn’t really want to do a swim either. So I took a peak at the PFW ride calendar online and noticed a Tom H ride listed to start from Griggstown at 8:30. I only had about an hour to get ready and get out there in order to attend.

The group that assembled included: Tom H, Laura L, Sergay, Ricky, Jack, and Jim. Lost Jack and Jim as we climbed into the Sourlands. The other 4 along with me continued together until the end of the ride. I had not ridden with this group for over a year now. But when I showed up it was as though we had just ridden together yesterday. I had fun on today’s ride. The miles just slipped by, and the 60 miles covered were totally painless even though I wasn’t really in the mood to ride today.

The heat by noon was “up there.” Yes, it was hot. But the pace of the ride was not fast and I was dressed appropriately. When we stopped at a Wawa about 20 miles into the ride I got a quart of whole milk. It was nice and cold and tasted good as I consumed it within about 5 gulps. Those around me ALL said they could not drink milk on a ride, especially on one as hot as today’s ride. I told them it was all I drank on rides.

At the second rest stop about 20 miles later in Whitehouse I sat at a table in front of the deli while the others went inside to get refreshment. I wasn’t hungry. I guess my milk was still keeping me going? When the others came out to sit with me they had questions about bike headlights powered by generator hubs, and other things related to randonneuring. I answered their questions. They seemed interested.

I’m at a stage in my cycling escapades that I’m not particularly crazy about randonneuring. I’ve had some fun experiences doing randonneuring since January of 2017, but I’m about ready for a change of pace when it comes to riding a bike. Somehow I got caught up in accumulating randonneuring awards rather than just having fun riding my bike. I think my biggest problem with randonneuring besides it not being especially healthy for someone who does not produce tons of testosterone (all of us over the age of 50), is how regimented the rides are. I enjoy riding new roads all the time. Or at least new combinations of roads. And I don’t like having to design a route so it fits neatly between two convenience store locations. But when you take randonneuring seriously that means it is going to consume lots of your time. And when anybody spends a lot of time doing something the people around them will assume (whether correctly or not) that that person will have a passion for doing the activity. I think the people I was riding with on the ride today think I’m really into randonneuring. I’ve got a few more rides I want to do as a randonneur. But I just don’t have the passion for it any longer. Of course, maybe I feel the way I do because I’ve earned most of the awards the activity has to offer? Cannot really say.

Certainly one of the reasons I enjoyed today’s ride was I was doing roads that I do not normally hit while doing my RUSA rides.

Click on the map below to see the recording of the ride I made using my GPS device. I was riding my folding bike again today.

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Thursday Morning Solo RUSA Ride

Thursday Morning Solo RUSA Ride

The super hot heat seems to have dissipated as of yesterday. This morning was a pretty nice morning to go for a ride. I chose to do a perm I created earlier this year, but have never gotten around to riding. It was pretty nice actually. A little hilly, but nice.

I was riding my Dahon folding bike again. I might have passed 5 or 6 cyclists out on the road today. None were overly friendly.

Click on the map below to see my recording of this morning’s ride.

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