Bicycle Diaries

30 years riding, 15 years writing

Slow leak inner tube

That inner tube I used to fix my rear tire yesterday had a slow leak, woke to a flat tire.

Picked up 2 inner tubes at Ultimate Bicycle, had to wait till 12 o’clock for the store to open. What’s up with Walmart, they only carry Schrader tipped inner tubes in store but they entice you online with Presta offerings.

Did 9 miles in the McAlpine’s main trail between Sardis and Monroe, mostly flat but bumpy. Finished off with 5 hilly miles around the hood, granny gear on some of them there hills.

distance 14.04 miles, average speed 12.5 mph.

What's that hissing noise?

Halfway through today’s ride, rear tire goes flat.

Heading up towards Boyce Park, I start hearing a hissing sound immediately followed by harder pedal strokes. At the top, I take a banana bathroom break, and gingerly ride the 1.5 miles back home on very little air.

When I arrived home, I was in luck, there was a spare inner tube in stock. Fixed the rear tire, heated up some pasta from the previous day, and shot back out.

Got my twenty in.

distance 20.00 miles, average speed 11.5 mph.

A dog walks into a creek

There was this fellow on the main trail between Sardis and Monroe roads that was walking his two large white Labrador looking dogs. Whenever I would approach them, bike bell ringing, he would send them off to run in the creek.

By the time I was riding my 3rd lap, the dogs’ undersides were covered in red mud from the creek bottom. Some chunks already drying on their hairy stomachs, bringing home the reason for Charlotte mudrooms.

Feeling great, putting in some hill work at the end of my rides. There are quite a lot of hills in my neighborhood, granny gears do come in handy.

distance 15.01 miles, average speed 12.6 mph.

One hour, that's all I need

An hour of aerobic exercise and I’m ready for anything.

The rain came down last night so the trails were packed down, no dirt flying up into my water bottle. Kept a good pace, found my route to get my hour in of riding.

As my pace quickens, I’ll adjust my route accordingly. All I really need is an hour during my weekday rides, I’ll go for longer rides on the weekends.

distance 11.65 miles, average speed 11.7 mph.

Cool mornings, hot afternoons

We’re in for a week of Summer weather, time for cool morning rides.

Stayed on the main trail from Monroe Rd. to Sardis Rd., just back and forth on the 1.5 mile stretch of dirt. My average speed is climbing, two factors come to mind, my legs are getting stronger and the trails are getting smoother.

More and more people are using the trails, I guess we’re tired of waiting for the construction to finish, we’ll train around the bulldozers.

distance 14.05 miles, average speed 12.5 mph.

40 bags of leaves

My weekend was dedicated to raking leaves and bagging.

The leaves were all in the backyard, where I had blown them during fall season. It was an uphill climb to the curb, like a nature treadmill. When I was done, I had 40 bags of leaves in front of my house for garbage collection.

Felt real good today, so I went further, got my twenty in.

distance 20.14 miles, average speed 11.7 mph.

Bridge to the Lake

Today, I was able to ride over to the lake.

Where there once was a concrete span, there is now a one piece steel bridge crossing the McAlpine creek. Now I can ride out to the lake and follow the cross country 5k trails.

There appears to be quite a lot of work left to do, hope it’s completed by August.

Feeling better, back on the bike for only a week and I’m ready to start putting in longer rides. Goes to show you that any exercise, even if it’s yard work, can help your body get conditioned.

distance 13.66 miles, average speed 11.3 mph.

Muddy trail today

We had some rain yesterday, good for riding, less dirt is kicked up, bad for riding, muddy puddles are everywhere.

This afternoon I came across 3 mountain bikers, 2 joggers and multiple walkers, the Greenway is starting to get more usage. I tried to draft one of the bikers, I quickly realized my body is not yet ready to hammer.

Picked up a pair of Louis Garneau full finger gloves at Performance Bike for $20 in the clearance bin. I’ll make sure I don’t use them for yard work this time.

distance 10.04 miles, average speed 12.3 mph.

Is dirt nutritious?

The loose dirt on the main trail from Sardis to Monroe gets into everything. My water bottle gets completely covered with dirt, when I take a drink it’s a real muddy swig, minerals and vitamins au naturel.

My legs are feeling really good at this early stage, must be all the bags of mulch I’ve been lugging from Walmart to my house. Spent the last month getting the yard into Spring shape, the by-product is that I also got into shape.

distance 10.44 miles, average speed 11.7 mph.

Washboard trail

From the Sardis Road entrance of the McAlpine Greenway to the Monroe Road underpass is 1.5 miles.

This stretch of washboard trails are awaiting asphalt, so I’m going to enjoy the dirt on my water bottles while it lasts. This small section of the trail system is the best I got for right now until work is completed on the bridges that cross the zigzagging creek.

3 miles round trip, nice and wide, plenty of space to hone my bike skills again. That old adage that you never forget how to ride a bike is true, you just lose the ability to pedal effortlessly for long distances.

distance 10.07 miles, average speed 11.0 mph.