Thursday, September 22, 2016

New Yellow

A general biking update. The weather has been cooperative and I've gotten a lot of riding in this year. I've done the same rides enough that I wanted to go somewhere new and different.

When I 1st started biking 11-12 years ago, a young cyclist coworker (Kent Lewis) gave me a hardcopy of the Bluegrass Cycling Club's maps. Whenever I took a road, I would highlight it in yellow on the map. I haven't had any "new yellow" for a few years, so I determined to get some.

So I biked out Old Frankfort Pike and headed north on WoodLake Rd (KY 1685), through Spring Station. North of Leestown Rd (US 421) I went into Franklin Co for the 1st time. I jogged west on US 460 (east on this road takes you through downtown Georgetown) and continued north on Woodlake, now KY 1262. Right (north) on KY 1688 took me over into Scott Co to the unidentifiable town Sand Hill. I then took a right to go south on Pea Ridge Rd (KY 3378), which turned into Fishers Mill Rd when it crossed US 460. A mile or so east on Leestown Rd took me into Midway, and I came home Waizenberger Mill Rd, Paynes Depot Rd, and Pisgah Pike. 49.11 miles, 3h45m ride time, average speed 13.11 mph, not bad.

Here's the map with the new yellow.

On another biking topic, in June of last year, while they were installing the solar (9 kW) on our Florida house, I did a 53.74 mile, 3h38m ride - 4h20m elapsed time - after which I could hardly use my hands for an hour. So I decided to try aerobars. Here's what the ones I tried looked like.

They really had me looking down, almost to the point of backwards, so the bike shop also put in a 4" stem extender to get me a little more upright when using the areobars.

They were great at getting pressure off my hands. Plus I would say that they added 2 mph to my biking speed. But, I rode with them maybe 20 times and just never liked them. I generally only stayed in them for 5-10 minutes at a time. The saddle had to be tilted forward to the extent that when I wasn't using them I was perched on the back of the saddle. Plus, when I was in them, I really had tunnel vision, focused totally forward, as opposed to when I'm more upright I can take in much more of the surroundings, which is part of the fun of cycling.

So I had them taken off. But I kept the stem extender. It keeps me more upright and probably costs me 0.5-1.0 mph in speed, but it does take a little of the pressure off my hands. It's funny, my wife's road bike was pretty closely matched speed-wise to mine, now she is faster! That would probably be true riding with other people as well, but, as I'm almost always biking alone, I don't care. I'll take the pressure relief on my hands. I told the guy at the bike shop, my bike was now more of a "grandpa bike", but, hey, I'm a grandpa!

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