For me, the weekends are ‘long’ days, basically long swims, bikes and runs. By long, I of course mean long for me and not some monsters of endurance. In running that has been building up to a 5k (which I did yesterday). Now that I have Zero, it is time to get busy with some long bike rides. But first I need a standard to measure success, I need some numbers, I need mileage and time. When I first got my bike Zero I searched the internet for rules of the road and group rides that might work for a newbie. One young local group I found was Team Share the Road. Established recently, their mission was to show motorists and bicyclists how to share the road through proper example. Their message stuck. Well it turns out that this Saturday a planned meetup and grill out was planned. I decided that I wanted to get my ride in and the meet up was at one of trail heads of the Silver Comet Trail I would go and ride for an hour or two before the meeting. The Silver Comet Trail, a byproduct of attempts to ressurect and re-purpose old now decrepit non-used railroad land, is a multi-use trail stretching from north western Atlanta 60 or so miles to the border of Georgia and Alabama (it continues a ways into Alabama taking a different trail name). The Silver Comet supports running, biking, walking and pretty much any form of non-motorized transportation. The trail gets its name from the train line the land is derived from.
It was a beautiful fall day, perfect for riding, not too hot and not too cold… perfect. I was not sure how far I was going to go, but I new I wanted to get a real feel. My legs were a bit heavy and sore from my run the day before. This soreness gradually worked itself out and all was good. The section of the trail I took ended up being about 6 miles each leg of the trip. If you click the map image or the summary image you will see the details of the workout. Out of the hour I rode, I stopped for 20 minutes. This was largely due to problems I ran into. First problem occurred early on when my chain decided to jump the cog. Hopped off and fixed fairly easy. Then about 3 miles in my hands started hurting really bad. Turns out I had forgotten to grab my gloves. Then as I neared 6 miles my cleat on my shoe came loose. Luckily I had outlined the cleat on the bottom of the shoe so it was easy to align and reattach the cleat. The chain was the biggest issue.
Not my best ride, legs were sore and got heavy. Endurance really needs to be built up. Figure I will keep adding to the time every week and keep getting the legs stronger. I was slightly better at clipping and unclipping. This section had allot of road crossings so I had plenty of practice, still not great at it. Pulling my water bottle and drinking is going to need more work and practice, almost wiped out trying this several times. The nice thing about the trail is that it is relatively flat. I stayed in the larger chain wheel almost the entire ride, with 2 small sections requiring the smaller or easy chain ring. I felt better about shifting. It was pleasurable not having to worry about traffic and I was able to enjoy the ride and the scenery. A good starting point. I even managed to handle a couple of issues that popped up on my ride. I really liked the scenery, bridges, rocks and all and the trail was very nice and well laid out. There were some challenges dealing with intersections and occasional bottle necks caused from walkers (who have the right of way according to the trail rules) and other bikers occasionally. But overall a great day, can’t wait to get back out and do it again and go even further. Til next time.