Monday, July 18, 2005

The time had come to see if I could actually go somewhere on my bike. I'm strong enough now that I can do fifteen miles hard riding without too much difficulty and my bike was working as it should. My parents' house was a likely target. It's 12 miles away, and it's got a swimming pool, which is pretty much where you want to be after riding 12 miles in the heat and humidity.

Trouble is, they're on the other side of the Cuyahoga River Valley. Now, this isn't some piddly little dip in the road. There are ski "resorts" on the walls of this valley. I gamely undertook what should have been the biggest challenge of my biking career.

I set off in early afternoon. My route took me from my neighborhood up to Rockside Road, then across town on Rockside, to my parents' neighborhood, which is conveniently also right off Rockside (which is called Snow Rd. on the west side). The skies were grey, but they'd been grey all week. There was something like a 40% chance of rain, but what the heck?

I did very well at first; surprisingly so. I'd made it to Garfield Heights and the start of the great descent at an average speed of over 14MPH (excluding traffic lights; the computer stops counting when the wheel's not moving). Then, I got a clear road for the main downhill portion. I got so fast that I couldn't keep up with the pedals any more, so I just tucked in and let gravity do its thing. The computer tells me I hit 35.7 MPH. Then there was a little hump upwards, and another, shorter downhill section before the inevitable climb out of the valley. That's when the rain hit. A drizzle at first, but it quickly became so bad that I was concerned about drivers being able to see me and the efficacy of their brakes, so I pulled off the side and proceeded on foot for most of the climb.

After a stint at 3 MPH, I got back on the bike about 4/5ths of the way up the hill, after the rain eased off. By the time I reached the traffic light at 21, effectively the end of the hill, my average speed had dropped to 13 MPH, which was nowhere near as bad as I'd expected. However, it was still uphill most of the way to Parma, just quite a bit more gradually. By the time I got there, average speed had dropped to 12.6 MPH. Still quite respectable, if I do say so myself.

Renee had given me a half-hour head start before taking off after me in the SUVoID. She caught me at Broadview Road, in Parma, nearly there. She stopped to make sure I was alive, probably had a good chuckle at my soaked clothes, and then followed me the last mile or so, which featured the only heavy traffic of the trip. I had a heck of a time getting left to turn into my parents' neighborhood.

I had a nice swim, we got to see my adorable nephew, and we took mom out to dinner. All in all, a pretty good Sunday.

On Saturday morning, I rode about 10 miles, this time with Yotto and his wife. It was a nice, if somewhat more leisurely than I've been doing, ride to SOM on the parkway, and then back to the parking area south of Aurora, before heading home.

On Saturday afternoon, I finally made good on getting my sister's new countertop installed. On many occasions, I was lacking for the right tool for the job, so I managed to make a mess out of the project. True to form, I made a two-hour job into an all-day affair, but I was successful in the end, and it looks darn nice, I must say.

This morning, I set a new speed record for my 6.2 mile ride, with an average of 13.8 MPH. Woot!

Comment by KJToo


Comment by blob

What, there are people reading this drivel!?

Comment by KJToo

I check this drivel every day, yo!

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