I’m back …

I’m going to settle down to reading soon because I haven’t done a whole lot of it over the last few days, but I wanted to write just a few words about my trip home first. Hobgoblin and I rode 100 miles over the course of the two full days we were gone, 60 one day and 40 the next; both times we followed a course that took us along the shore of Lake Ontario.  The landscape is beautiful; it felt so different from what I’m used to in Connecticut — the land is flatter and more open, with more farmland and fewer trees so we could see the whole sky and a long way up the road ahead of us.  I always think of myself as a person who loves hills and mountains, but I was surprised to find myself loving the flat, open country.  I haven’t visited the area in summer in a long time, and I found I had forgotten how pretty it is.

But today my legs hurt … the landscape was wonderful, but the wind was not.  We had an easy time riding out, but once we turned to head home, we faced the wind and had a hard time of it.  My average speed dropped two miles an hour at least.  There’s nothing more demoralizing than working super hard just to crawl along at a slow pace.  I’m not used to riding on relatively flat roads either and it felt different; I’m used to coasting down hills now and then, and when I can’t coast and do nothing but pedal for hours and hours I hurt.

But that’s not the only cycling news I have — Hobgoblin and I went to watch a bike race in downtown Rochester on Saturday night and had a fabulous time; I’ve never seen so many spectators and such excitement at a bike race before.  This was a race we considered riding in, until I discovered it would conflict with my brother’s graduation party, so we went to the party and checked out the pro races afterward.  I can’t say I regret not being able to race, though, because the course looked difficult; it had seven or eight corners, including one hairpin turn, and just thinking about riding them at speed terrified me.  We may ride in the race next year, but I’m already nervous about it — cornering is not my strength!  We had so much fun , though, watching the the tail end of the women’s pro race and the full two hours of the men’s; we walked around the course a couple times, analyzing how the riders took the corners, watching them lean over frighteningly far.  Spectators lined the course the whole way around, cheering the riders on; it’s an amazing course, really, because from most places you can see two different sections of it, including two bridges that cross the Genessee River.  If I can get up the nerve, I think I’ll have fun riding on it.

But now I’m off to read … and I’ll be back posting on books soon.

11 Comments

Filed under Cycling, Life

11 responses to “I’m back …

  1. hepzibah

    I’m glad your back…I missed reading your posts :) I’ve never been to Lake Ontario, but it sounds really nice.

  2. Thank you Hepzibah! Lake Ontario can be nice — if you are in the right place. In some places it’s very polluted, unfortunately.

  3. How funny to think of me living on the edge of Lake Ontario up here and doing my usual weekend walks along it while you and the Hobgoblin were riding along a different bit. I know it’s a big lake, but I still like the idea of being connected to blog friends by that familiar body of water!

  4. Welcome back, Dorothy! So glad to know you had a lovely time, and no, riding a bike into a strong wind does not sound like fun…

  5. Glad to hear you had a nice time. You would think riding a flat surface would be easier, until you think about the wind–not so fun! It must have been weird being a spectator at a race rather than a competitor. You wonder how those riders can stay upright when they tilt over so far taking those turns!!

  6. I thought about you when I was riding along Lake Ontario Kate! I’ve been to Toronto too few times in my life, considering how close I used to live to it — closer as the crow flies than it is driving, of course :)

    Litlove, thank you! I’m so grateful to be back in my hills that block the wind somewhat …

    Danielle, I was rather glad to be a spectator and not a racer at that race — it was really frightening to think of speeding around that course!

  7. Welcome home! Sounds like a fun time away. If you plan on being in the race next year, you have lots of time to practice those corners!

  8. Cornering is fun. I love barreling around a turn at speed. Gotta be in the drops, take it wide, commit to a line, inside pedal up, steer with the hips, and let the bike do the rest. You’ll be surprised at how fast you’ll go.

  9. You’re right Stefanie, and I hope I do end up practicing a lot (it’s one of those things that’s hard and not a whole lot of fun, and so easy to avoid). Fendergal — I wish I had your attitude! I’ll have to work on finding the fun in it. I’m sure, actually, that’s once I’ve experienced it more I’ll be better — I know in my mind that I’ll be safe, but my body doesn’t know, and so I hit the brakes before I realize it.

  10. That’s an issue of too much thinking. Turn off your frontal lobe at the start line.

    See you at New Britain!

  11. The story of my life, I’m afraid … yes, it’ll be nice to meet you in person!

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