Day off

This is my first day off in several weeks, and likely my only one for another several weeks. Yeah, there was our annual Leaf-Peeper Century to Letchworth on Columbus Day, but that was a lot of work. And I don’t count Sundays either.

I subbed a lot in October. A co-worker at each library took a lot of time off. I’ll be subbing again a lot in November. A co-worker at Winton Branch left for a full-time position. There’s still the hiring freeze for the city, so the rest of us have to cover her shifts. True there’s the extra money—I won’t turn it down. But if I wanted to work six days a week, I wouldn’t have taken a three day a week part-time job.

Actually, there’s a strong possibility I’ll have this coming Saturday off for the Ellison Park Cyclocross races, but I won’t know until tomorrow. I’d already make the arrangements to take the day off, found a sub an d everything, then my co-worker quit. It takes two to handle the desk on Saturdays.

Meanwhile, there’s a lot that’s been happening.

Leaf-Peeper Century

I caught another three-week cold at the end of September. It lasted straight through to our Leaf-Peeper Century. Hndlebar was under the impression I was faking in order to get out of the ride. The hardest 15 miles I ever rode was that morning from home to the starting point in Scottsville.

Although it was in the lower 50s, and I’d dressed appropriately (as opposed to overdressed) I sweated-through all my layers halfway out. Itty-bitty rises in the road were epic granny-gear climbs. I rode out only so I could back out of the ride face-to-face (and smack Hndlebar if he gave me any shit.)

I arrived five minutes late and no-one was there. After a while Bikerjohn showed up. Hndlebar showed a at 8:30 with a song and dance about having waited for me out on Scottsville Road. Anyway, after a hour’s ride and a half-hour rest, I felt a bit better. Well enough to ride another 15 miles where we were to rendezvous with another BikeJournaler, HandyHannah.

Heading for Perry, I began to perk up. By the time we stopped for lunch, I was feeling okay. Lunch was the clincher. I felt pretty good after that and my climbing ability returned in part, which is a good thing because through the park there was a half-mile climb that reached 21% grade, (yes, twenty-one percent).

That behind us, the ride home was fairly uneventful. I hit my century on the way into Scottsville, and SAGged home with Bikerjohn. (I’d have been short of a double-metric by 10 miles without padding in some miles somewhere, and I’d have gotten home after dark. And I was hungry.)

The route Hndlebar came up with this year, and our improvised variations, was just perfect. I asked if I could submit it to the RBC as an official route, and add it to next year’s calendar as an official ride. But we missed the deadline for submitting new ride maps for next year. Oh well. Maybe next year.

Before that

I caught a few rides with a new sub-group of the RBC, the RBC Daytimers. Once a week they ride one of the RBC routes in the 30-40 mile range. I’ve enjoyed the rides, but wish fewer of them were on Thursdays.

I also had quite a nice time at the Cobbs Hill Cyclocross races. It was a beautiful, warm, dry, sunny autumn day. Unfortunately, I had somehow gotten my camera lens very dirty, so no pics. I didn’t notice it until after the Leaf-Peeper Century, so no pics from that either.

Anyway, the upshot of all this riding—despite all sorts of extra shifts and poor weather cutting into my riding time—is that at the close of this month I’ll be within spitting distance of my 4,750 mile goal for the year, and within striking distance of my 5,200 mile challenge goal. It will all depend on weather and how badly six-day workweeks cut into my riding time.

Meanwhile, I turned-over 5,000 miles on the Portland last weekend. Still love that bike.

I haven’t made a single TNUA yet this season. I hope to change that starting next week. An Election Day TNUA sounds like fun.

New tights

I’m all set for winter with regard to equipment. Truth be told, I could get by with what I already have in clothing too. But cycling is also a good excuse for shopping and there are places for improvement in my winter cycling wardrobe.

Last year I got by with a pair of Nashbar tights. Whatever it is they call their basic tight. They were fine. I’ve been wearing them on cold mornings with no problem. For an inexpensive basic tight, they’re great. But, in the deepest of winter required extra layers—sometimes two—and they aren’t wind proof or water proof. Both would have come in handy several times in the winter.

With that in mind, and remembering what it’s like with the elastic waistband of shorts, baselayer and tights all squeezing the same place, I went shopping a few weeks ago for new tights. My timing was perfect because Kyle at Full Moon Vista was unpacking a fresh shipment. He showed me two pairs of windfront tights, differing by amount of insulation and relative water resistance.

Endura Thermolite Windtex Clib-Bib tightsI had to wait until payday, and two weeks ago Saturday I returned and bought a pair of Endura Thermolite Windtex Clip-Bib tights.

For me, the big selling points were

  • Bibs—no elastic waistband
  • Quick release buckles on the bib straps—easier to make yellow snow
  • Thermolite insulation
  • Windtex windproof/waterproof panels on the front and sides
  • Contoured/Articulating knee—easier pedaling
  • Ankle zips—easier on and off, potential to zip over booties to keep the rain out.

I’m glad I bought them in-person so I could try them on. I ordinarily wear a medium, but I couldn’t get teh mediums over my massive quads. I bought the large instead.

Early season testing is positive. I was already wearing kneewarmers under my Nashbar tights this autumn, but with the Enduras, I’ve worn only my lightest pair of shorts underneath—shorts that are a little breezy even in the 60s.

I’m pleased. It hasn’t been really cold yet and I was afraid that they’d be too warm. They are, a little, but I don’t get sweaty legs from that, so it seems the breathable part works just fine. They are windproof too. Gusts yesterday reached to 35 MPH and from the waist down, I wasn’t aware of it. And they’re so waterproof that rain runs down inside my booties if I forget to zip them over the booties. They won’t fit over my Lake winter cycling boots. I’m not sure if that will be an issue or not.

In any event, I very pleased and expect to remain so.

One Response to “Day off”

  1. Von Says:

    Is it wrong that I want to see a picture of your massive quads? 😀