Thursday, October 5, 2017

Long Rides

Finish line!
It's been a skinny year for long rides. But I did manage to take part in my favorite ride, the North Shore Century, and a new ride: the Kickstand Classic, an actual timed race.

Taking a break in Lake Bluff.
The NCC was, as usual, very well organized and a joy. I joined a thousand of my bike-riding friends at sunrise near the Northwestern University campus (Go U Northwestern! Sorry!) for a sojourn through the far northern 'burbs: from the merely expensive neighborhoods of Evanston, through the million-dollar homes of Wilmette, the ten-million-dollar homes of Kenilworth and the "Well, I'm sure someone keeps track of these things" homes in Glencoe.

Every 15 miles or so, there was a rest stop with abundant food and hydration options: bananas, Clif bars, bagels, pickles, donuts, mini-Nemo's-sub-sandwiches, grapes, etc. The last 10 miles is always a real test of my endurance, but when I see the Baha'i temple I know I'm getting really close and I'm going to finish.

I completed the Metric Century (67 miles, 108km) in 5 hours, 11 minutes.  Goal for next year: five hours.


Yay my also-ran medal!
The 2017 Kickstand Classic was my first-ever timed race. It was a well-organized event and I was moderately happy with my results but I hope to do better next time ... that's probably the whole point of races, right? I finished the 19.4 mile course in 1:11:45, for an average speed of 16.26 mph. My goal was an average of 15 mph.
Jason and Kristie: notice anything?

I liked being timed for the race, but I had mixed feelings about being ranked. I finished 236 out of 351. Bleh.

Next year's goal: finish in the top half and first in my age group (I finished 2nd). According to this race's spreads shown on the website, I'll have to finish in 1:05 or less to make 175th. I think I can do that, especially if I lose a few pounds by then.

So it’s been a while

I’ve neglected my blog Mr. Pither for a long time. I don’t know why. I’ve been biking pretty steadily - in fact, just as much as ever. So I’m forced to believe that it’s a failure of writing enthusiasm, rather than biking. Get together, you two.


I’ve been biking up a storm this year: almost 400 miles recorded by Cyclemeter. Mary has actually joined me a couple of times, mainly because I bought her a new bike and she’s been guilted into it.

Her old bike, a massive Trek step-through that must have weighed 50 pounds, was donated to Working Bikes in Chicago. Her new bike is a teal Specialized Vita with a triangle frame that yes, she has to throw a leg over, but she has admitted is a lot easier to ride. We bought it from the local bike shop Spokes, which I recommend to anyone who wants a good bicycle, fitted by people who care, and by that I mean the proprietor Basil. Thanks, Basil.

Spokes was also where Mary bought a bike for our niece. It’s her first bike with more than one speed. Yeah, she’s happy.

I took her brother to the local Play It Again Sports and bought him a multi-speed bike. He was a little miffed that he didn’t get a NEW bike like his sister, but that kid is gonna grow like a damn weed and I’m not gonna spend a lot on his bike until he gets into high school.

I’m hoping there's no hard feelings and Jason can join me on a ride along the Little Miami Scenic Trail this weekend while his sister has a dance recital.