Saturday, April 28, 2012

Shut Up and Pedal

It didn't matter that I had probably lost any early season fitness previously gained by spending too much free time building this bike in April.  It didn't matter that I had a hectic, six-cities-in-four-days, trip to the west coast last week, and arrived home last night a little knackered.  It didn't matter that today's wind would quickly drain the energy from my legs.  I've got a new bike, a publicly stated goal to do some longer rides, and it was time to shut up and pedal.

Today, five hours was long.  The ride started directly south, and for almost two hours, the noise of the constant headwind was like the roar of a locomotive.  No-stripe, rural county roads guided me over small rolling hills, into more urban surroundings, and finally into the Denton square.  The annual jazz festival was in full swing.  It would have been nice to stay, but I had many more miles in front of me.  So I turned east and headed over to the southern limit of the Greenbelt trail to start the offroad portion of the outing.  It's butterfly season down on the Greenbelt Trail. Thousands of them would be lounging on the trail, until I'd get near.  Then they'd take flight, let me by, and (I think) land to continue their lounging.  It was as if I was being escorted, encased in a continuous wave of butterflies.  The trail ends at the eastern limit of the Lake Ray Roberts Dam.  I turned left to begin the westward portion of my circuit, and rode across the top of the dam. The late morning sun was beginning to turn up the heat, and the blue lake water was inviting, but my sights were on Sanger.  Gusty cross winds, with no rhythm, forced frequent steering adjustments, and fatigue joined my journey.  One more crossing of IH-35, one more patch of gravel, and one more short section of direct headwind, and the loop was completed. 

Today, a five-hour ride was long, but I want to change what "long" means.  Making that happen shouldn't be too hard if I'll just shut up and pedal. 


  1. Your attitude is admirable:
    "Shut up and peddle."


  2. No matter how you slice it "5 hours" is long. Well done.
    You have even loftier goals and you'll get there.


  3. Chris,
    Which GB bag is that, and how in the world are you keeping it on the rack?
    I like the new bike, but I have to say getting rid of the AHH was a bold move.



  4. Looks like your M.A.P. (plus your attitude) should help you change your definition of "long" rides. For me, five hours would certainly be considered plenty long. Bon voyage!

  5. Christopher Wiggins, the bag is the GB22 model, and it is held to the rack by the "integrated decaleur" that Mitch included on the custom rack. A photo of the rack is included in this post... The removable decaleur was designed for a taller bag, so I trimmed the legs a bit to fit mine. It works very well.

  6. Hi Pondero- Great looking roads. Being escorted "encased in a continuous wave of butterflies", sounds so cool.

  7. Yes, 5 hours is a long time. But what a great way to spend it!

  8. Inspiring post! I hope to start riding regularly soon.

    Paz :)