Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Pioneer Valley Three-Oh

Been well over a week since I stared at the blank screen with some kind of momentum building up behind my eyes. I've been in bike hibernation or something. Maybe it's the coming of September, all my young clients going back to school, sending me back into some kind of youthful transitional period. Just not thinking in terms of writing. Then, of course, tropical storm Irene was a bit distracting last weekend. No damage to house or property, I'm glad to report, unlike many towns close by, which are torn asunder. I'm sure I'll be finding washed out roads on my rides well into the fall.

Also, I've been writing up rides and tech and philosophy like a house afire since mid-February, and I think I'm feeling the psychic wear and tear, much as I feel the season wearing on my body. Mrs.V. has returned to her public school librarian job and needs some support. And we have other demanding stuff on the docket right now, too.

But don't worry, folks, I'm riding. Mostly on the Vaya, because both my road bikes are on the D.L. I've done what I can for them with my tech skills, and now have plans to haul them both in to a good local bike shop tomorrow and see what experienced hands can render.

I think that's one more reason for burnout: I haven't been able to take advantage of the diversity of riding because I've only had my gravel/dirt machine for the last few weeks or more. I had that brief fling with the 29er, but it didn't work out. (Flings rarely do.) I was hoping that would provide me a whole new angle on riding -- woods, mountains, trails. Turns out, I'm really only suited to a little of that, at least for now. The Vaya mostly scratches that itch pretty well.

I did three or four hours on hurricane day (Sunday) to plot out an extended dirt road ride here in the Valley. It turned out to be way more vertical than I was hoping; dirt roads in this part of New England generally lead upward. I haven't been able to find many of those lovely lo-o-ong, rolling roads they have out in Kansas and Iowa, where you could easily put together a century without ever riding pavement. So, we'll see if I'm up to what I have tentatively titled The Filthy Fifty. 4,000 feet of climbing, and composed of 75% dirt,gravel, and a smidgen of single track. Rigorous.

Aside from that, I'd like to go for a few long leaf-peeping rides this fall; I love kitting up with arm warmers and embrocation and rolling out in the chilly, clear weather. It's inspiring after a summer of sweat pooling incessantly under my helmet pads. I also find myself looking forward to the infamous cyclocross races at Look Park in early November; perhaps I'll attend on my Vaya and take a stab at the course in-between races, as many spectators do. 'Cross is coming, bundle up!



That's the three-oh from the Pioneer Valley today.

4 comments:

Human Wrecking Ball said...

It's going around I think. Rididng is starting to feel like a job to me. I am hoping cool weather will restart the honeymoon.

Velosopher said...

Good way to describe it. Not a good feeling, especially when you think of how excited you have felt in the past about it.

Juancho said...

I am just hunkering down and cleaning my rifle for October, when I will go a-hunting ducks on the trails.

That Filthy Fifty sounds like an true epic. I would love a piece of that.

Velosopher said...

Yeah, Fall does us good.

Anyone is invited for the Fifty. Come on up for fall foliage and ride with me! (That would motivate me to actually ride it.)