Boy it felt great to get off my big butt and start riding again this week. I started last Tuesday just by riding from the house I’m staying at down to White Rock Lake and back. Total round trip is about 16.5 miles and I have several options to easily lengthen that distance. Since I’m only going to be in Dallas for two more weeks I’ll continue this route and probably lengthen it to 20 miles so I can build up some more base miles before starting in on my training plan.

A Windy, Wet Ride Today

Today’s ride was interesting in that even though the weather stunk (wind, rain, chili, mist, road grime, etc.) I decided that I needed the miles and that I wasn’t going to get skinnier by sitting at home. Sure, I could have ridden the trainer but the weather wasn’t that bad. A long sleeve jersey instead of short and I was good to go. I thought about wearing a rain jacket but decided against it.

I took my normal route down to the lake and got sprinkled on a few times but nothing serious. It had rained pretty good overnight so the roads were wet and grimy. I could see the dirt/grime building up on the bike but didn’t worry about it too much. Nothing a quick cleaning won’t fix when I return home.

Down at the lake there weren’t many people. That’s to say that there weren’t many dedicated people like myself. Or stupid people like me. Take your pick. I did see 2 or 3 other cyclists and quite a few runners but nothing like it would have been if the weather was good. I didn’t get rained on again the rest of the ride but the wind was pretty bad in spots causing some harsh crosswinds and a bad headwind up The Three Sisters.

Overall I thought it was a great ride and a good way to wrap up a week on the bike. I can tell I’m already getting stronger and riding the new bike surprises me every time I go out. Once I can get some power/endurance back in my legs/body I should be able to really up my training.

Upon returning to the house the bike needed a serious cleaning. While the road grime was still wet I sprayed the whole bike down with simple green and let it soak for about five minutes. Then I took a water hose to it to spray it all off. I followed that with a wipe down with a cloth and it looks good as new. Even with the 5 minute soak it only took about 10 minutes to get it cleaned up. The shoes got a cleaning with baby wipes (I’m so due for a new pair of shoes).

Tweaks to the Bike

A few posts ago I mentioned that I had been having some discomfort on my right side. One fix I made was to re-align my saddle because it was pointing slightly to the right. That helped a lot. I inspected my pedals also and found out that my right one was broken. One of the spring tension screws was totally rusted and looks to have broken. I can’t complain because those Wellgro pedals lasted me for over 10 years. They were built like a tank. So on Friday I headed to a LBS to find some new pedals. They didn’t have the ones I wanted (the ones on sale…go figure) so I ended up getting some Look Keo Plus pedals. I’ve ridden with them twice now and really like’em.

I’m Logging My Rides on DailyMile Now

I think I mentioned this a couple posts ago but I like it so much that I wanted to mention it again. It’s a free tool and it lets you create your routes (using the Google Maps API). I really like how easy it is to input a workout along with the option to share it on Twitter and/or Facebook. They have WordPress Widgets available so I installed one over on the right side that shows my most current workout. If you’re on DailyMile please send me a friend request.

Image courtesy of bareknuckleyellow.