Vacation is over. Rode out to the softball field last night and played two games. Let’s just say that my softball skills are a work in progress. I played first base and did a respectable job, although my reaction times aren’t what a younger man might have. My batting…well…hmph.
I probably pushed it a bit too hard to get there on time, but it felt great to be back on the bike. I haven’t waxed poetic lately, but there are just some times where a bike ride takes away all that is wrong with the world. It’s to the point where I feel bad for those who have never experienced that joy. I got a lot of “you rode all this way”, which I am better at responding to these days. But I still got a lot of shaking heads and open eyed stares as I was stuffing my cleats and glove into the Carradice. I managed to take a detour down to the Yellow Breeches and enjoy the scenery just as it was getting dark.
On the bike front, I realized last night that I haven’t serviced the LHT for a few hundred miles. Time for a quick clean and lube. I also picked up a set of Kool Stop Salmon pads from Pedal Pusher. If I have time, I’ll put them on the LHT tonight and see how they do. They’re not the sexy dual compound thinlines, but the good old basic Eagle 2’s. From what I’ve read, I shouldn’t expect that much change in dry conditions, but significantly better in the rain. I’m also toying with ordering a pair of Schwalbe Marathons. No hurry, but I’m gradually upgrading some components on the LHT to accomodate some camping and touring. (I even priced some sleeping bags yesterday.)
Finally, Myrtle Beach. We’ve been there a few times, and this was probably the best trip. From what I can see and discovered earlier, the roads aren’t really bike friendly, so no riding was in order. But to avoid I95 as much as possible, I took a lot of blue roads through North Carolina, which seemed like much better with berms and “Share the Road” signs.
My exercise regimen consisted of walking on the beach for about two hours each morning, with some light jogging a day or two. The first two days my hamstrings were really sore from my heels sinking in, but then they loosened up. By the end of the week, I really noticed a difference in my capacity, so I think I’ll go back to incorporating some walking/jogging into my routine.
People watching also taught me that there seem to be more girls running on the beach than guys. With both, you have the ones that look like they have committed to “getting in shape” during their vacation and they have one week to do it. Then you have those that look like they are in shape, routinely run, and make a good effort. Finally, every so often you spot a long distance runner. Not only do they have a certain physique, but they run with such a gliding efficiency that it is impressive. With rowing, much of the secret to speed is eliminating vertical motion so the boat glides on an even plane. Countless hours are spent honing this technique. I wonder if runners intentionally focus on similar efficiency, or whether it just occurs naturally.
Anyway; it’s great to be back in the saddle.
Misc Miles: 2
Distance: 17.9 miles 2009: 860.7