OK, I admit it. It’s officially fall. Pam and I got up Saturday to run and it was 34 degrees. We ran 6 miles, then spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon taking care of business. By mid-afternoon, however, I knew I couldn’t stand it any longer. Even though the picture above is the view out my sunroom windows, I couldn’t be content to not get out and enjoy the beautiful afternoon on my bike.
Pam took a nap and I grabbed the Madone for a 20 mile loop out past the high school. Temperature wise, the afternoon was perfect, but it was a little windy. The trip out was OK, but after I turned to head for home, I was bucking the wind and slowed down considerably. I could tell my legs were pretty tired from the morning run. I wish I had thought to grab a split time to see what the difference between the trip out and the trip back was, but I was honestly enjoying myself too much to think about it.
As I crossed the river, I could tell that it’s still pretty low. If you look closely, you can see gravel banks on both sides that aren’t usually there. We’ve had a little rain lately, but it’s not been nearly enough to do us any good.
The fall colors aren’t very spectacular around here once you get out of the residential areas where people have planted trees that are a little more colorful. The oaks kind of turn orange, but aren’t nearly as pretty as the maples that people have planted in their yards. You can see the difference in the two shots below.
After climbing out of the river valley, I made my way out past the high school and turned into the wind. It was right after taking the picture below that I realized I was going to slow down considerably on the way back unless I wanted to make the ride more work than fun.
I tried something different on this ride. I’ve been struggling lately with my Sidi mountain bike shoes. When I first got them (6 years ago?), I thought they were the most comfortable things in the world. Not so anymore. They got really wet one time and I foolishly left them too close to the pellet stove to dry them out quickly. They shrunk a little, and have never been as comfortable as before in spite of several attempts to stretch them back out. Let that be a lesson. If you get your nice leather shoes wet, let them dry out slowly! Although, those shoes have probably got 15,000 miles on them so I probably shouldn’t feel too bad about it.
I stumbled across my old Nike shoes the other day and decided I would give them a try to see how they compared. Oh man, it wasn’t good. It took a few miles, but then I remembered why I stopped wearing them in the first place. There is a ridge inside the toe box that rubs my little toe, and by the time I got home, it was quite sore. Those shoes went back into the box as soon as I got home. I really ought to just throw them away….
As I turned onto Sunshine for the final leg back to town, I discovered that it has been repaved! Sweet! They not only repaved the road, but the shoulders also. You can see in the picture that the stripes haven’t been painted back on yet so it’s just one big wide strip of smooth black asphalt.
The shot above is looking up the hill over the James River Bridge. From that point, it’s just about 4 miles to the house.
Here’s the GPS track for the day.
Hope your weekend was a great one!