Monday, November 10, 2008

Ridin with the Bro.

My brother drove down yesterday with his new Ridley Excaliber so we could go for a ride. That is one really impressively designed bike, especially in the steerer/head tube area and the rear triangle. It's got very agressive S shaped seat stays and chain stays which I am sure give the bike a nice level of vertical compliance. In fact, the rear triangle looks almost identical to those on the newest Pinarello Prince. I didn't get to ride it this time, but look for a review here soon after I get a chance to put it through the wringer in the mountains of Northeastern PA. Anyway, on to the ride.

It was a perfect autumn day here in Maryland with bright sun and wind with temps in the low 50's and after a lazy morning breakfast and of ogling bikes we finally got out of the house around 11:00am. Our plan was to go somewhere over 40 miles hitting some of my favorite riding roads including a few steep hills. My brother is always in great shape being a runner, but doesn't have many miles of riding in his legs. He's pretty tough though so I wasn't worried about him keeping up. Besides that, I have cut down a lot on my riding with November being pretty much a vacation away from the bike. Up St. Thomas and across the Hunt Valley we headed. There were a lot of other riders out there on the roads as usual. I think everyone who rides in this area knows exactly where the best roads for training are. We passed a few Kelly Benefits Strategies teammates of mine heading in the other direction at high speed. After going up over the steep, but short Piney Grove hill, both decided that at it's steepest point it's steeper than Red Hill, but quite a bit shorter. Red Hill was the hill we'd always end our rides on as a kids back home. Later we stopped in Butler at the little general store/liquor/post office for a hot coffee and coke. Some guy was posting signs for a yellow lab he found and was looking for it's rightful owner, beautiful looking dog. He had it in his jeep.

From there we headed down Falls Road, then over towards Caves, back to St. Thomas and home. I think we ended up going about 42 miles at a pretty relaxed pace. My brother's back was killing him and his legs cramped up pretty badly, but other than that was in good shape. That Ridley looks pretty laid out in a Tom Boonen way so the sore back was understandable. He took a nap on the couch after so I guess he was pretty tired from the ride. He's gonna be a really strong rider if he keeps at it since his build is perfect for it. Now he's got the bike to make sure he gives it a real chance. I'm hoping he'll even do a few races next year.

Overall, it was a great ride and I can't wait til we get a chance to do it again sometime.

1 comment:

Chrispy said...

Yeah... that ride was a case of my mind saying go! And my body saying NO! I knew I was in for a long ride when my calves started to cramp up about 10 miles into the ride. But even still, there is nothing like the thrill of being in over your head! There is honesty in that.

I uploaded the data from my watch to analyze the truth about the ride. I knew the pace dropped off dramatically after the break we took at the general store at 28 miles in but I just attributed it to lactic acid build up from sitting and general fatigue. But after looking at the elevation graph, the hills the first 28 miles are steeper but cover less distance and less elevation with more chance to recover. The hills the last 12 miles were not as steep but longer and covered more elevation with less time for recovery. I really did not feel the difference in terrain while riding. The last 12 miles just wore me down. I was almost standing on the pedals on a flat road at the end.

All in all, it was a good time. Considering it almost doubled the amount of miles I have ridden in the last 4 years, I can not ask for anything more from my ride. I am looking forward to next time! :)