Rain Stopped Sun Out Bike Ride

The weekend of rain ended and I got back on the bike today to ride the “Atascocita – Walden – Huffman” route for a total of 30.71 miles. The weather was friendly with mostly clear sky and 68 degrees. I bundled up with leg warmers, long sleeve jersey and windbreaker jacket. The jersey was a new thermal one from voler.com. I almost added a short sleeve jersey but decided it was not needed. That was a good decision and at the end of the ride my jacket was wet from sweat. The ride started at 12:29 after the early morning clouds lifted and finished at 2:42.

The wind wasn’t too strong today from the NW at 8 mph. It wasn’t much of a problem until I rode north west of Lake Houston through Atascocita and Kingwood. Riding across Lake Houston the wind was much cooler from the cool water.

I saw another biker while I was riding east over Lake Houston. I glanced to my left and briefly saw him through the traffic and didn’t wave.

Over the weekend I added a goal plugin to the desktop version of SportTracks program. This is the screenshot of the data.

12-6-2016-sporttracks-goals

With this plugin I can stop using Garmin Connect, the only online program I use that allows goals. This should simplify recording rides.

Tomorrow’s weather should repeat today but Thursday another cold front arrives. I plan on biking tomorrow. James Webster asked me if I was interested in gravel biking Friday or Saturday. I said yes but if the temperature is 50 or below I may change my mind.

Link to RideWithGPS.com ride data and map.

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Fence Boards, Farmers’ Market MTB Bike Ride

First bike ride for December I rode the Kingwood Trails for a total of 18.12 miles. The last bike ride was November 22 but I could’ve rode sooner than today. I held back because I didn’t want to increase my November mileage which might influence my goal for November 2017. I already biked more miles this year than ever before and I don’t know if I can match this next year. I am at 7,192 miles after today’s bike ride. I set my goal for December at 130 miles which would put me just over 7,300 miles if I make it.

When I walked into the kitchen this morning around 7:30 the temperature outside was 35 degrees. I wondered if it would go up 30+ degrees to the forecasted high but I was optimistic. I waited until 1:06 to start the bike ride on my Motobecane 700HT MTB. The plan was to ride the trails today and I think each ride in December. My Stradalli Red Pro 14 road bike has 18,814 miles on it but the Motobecane only has 2,104 and I bought in 2010. This shows my bias to the road.

At the beginning of the ride the sky was all blue but as the day progressed some wispy clouds moved in but riding among the trees the sun warming didn’t amount to much. I was glad I bundled up with leg warmers, windbreaker jacket, long sleeve thermal jersey and a short sleeve jersey. When I finished at 2:49 the temperature was still 65.

The ride went through Woodridge Forest and I rode to the far west of the subdivision where the roads are just a month or so old. Workers putting up new wood fencing lined the streets in a couple of places. Here are two pictures there. (My glove is the dark spot in the upper left) (click on the image to enlarge it)

One day maybe the streets in Woodridge Forest west will connect to Adams Street to the north giving another exit from Kingwood.

From Woodbridge Forest I biked the trails through North and South Woodland Hills, Trailwood Village and Lake Shores Village. When I rode across Kingwood Drive to Town Center I saw the farmer’s market vendors setting up and Christmas decorations in place.

No finger in the pictures this time. The route went east from Town Center looping back to Kingwood Drive. When I got to Kings Crossing Drive and Kingwood Drive the greenbelt trail was interrupted by signal light construction. Two workers in a hole were working on a concrete form where the trail used to be. My first thought was to ride on Kingwood Drive to thee first side street and back onto the trail but the traffic on Kingwood Drive is heavy so I walked my bike around the hole and back onto the trail.

The next spot I wasn’t sure about came up when the trail goes under W. Lake Houston Parkway. A new underpass culvert for the trail was being put in place requiring the northbound lanes to be raised. I thought I might need to detour around this spot but riding around a curve the trees gave way and I saw the new culvert was in place and I could stay on the trail under W. Lake Houston Parkway. A concrete truck was parked over the culvert but not involved in any trail work. From that point it was 17 miles into the ride leaving a little over a mile to the finish.

The weather is supposed to get wet and cool tomorrow (Friday) making biking doubtful.

Link to RidewithGPS map and metrics.

Plywood and Wind Huffman Bike Ride

I probably overdressed for today’s bike ride on the “Atascocita – Walden – Huffman” route. I decided to wear a long sleeve jersey under a short sleeve one because I thought the stiff wind might still have some chill in it from the cool front that visit us over the weekend and Monday. It was 80 degrees when I started the bike ride at 12:30 and stayed that way until the finish at 2:45. I biked 31.32 miles pushing my year to date biking to 7,174 miles.

The wind registered from the south at 20 mph with 24 mph gusts and at times it required extra effort to ride. I thought the trips over Lake Houston would be challenging but the wind wasn’t coming from the direction that causes a problem and the traffic broke up the gusts.

I wasn’t planning on stopping at the Huffman Chevron until I was at the railroad tracks waiting for the light to change on FM2100 and then I decided to stop long enough to take a screenshot of the weather since the wind was so strong.

Huffman Weather

As I rode into the station and under the pump canopy I saw the front of the store that used to be double doors was covered with plywood.

Plywood store front

I went inside and asked what happened. The ladies said late Saturday night a “smash and grab” drove a truck into the door/windows and tried to pull the ATM machine away but failed. The graveyard shift employee was scared but the intruders didn’t appear to know she was there. No one was hurt but it left this mess. When I got home and told my wife she remembered reading about this happening but the location didn’t ring a bell when she read it.

Leaving the Chevron station I rode west with the wind helping to improve my overall average speed to 15.1 mph. I felt the wind change as I turned right onto Atascocita Shores Drive moving from my left to behind me. I sped towards Kingwood and the end of the bike ride. Crossing Kingwood Drive took longer than I expected with school out.

The weather continues to stay warm with some rain in the forecast for late tonight and maybe early Wednesday. My next bike ride will probably be on Friday.

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83 Degree Short Sleeve Jersey Bike Ride

A great short sleeve jersey bike ride day on the “New Caney – Tavola – Valley Ranch” cycling route. I left the long sleeve jersey at home and didn’t miss it on today’s bike ride. The clear blue sky, 83 degree temperature and SSW 9 mph breeze combined to make this an abnormal November bicycling day. I didn’t bike on this date last year probably because the weather was not near today’s.

Making good time and feeling strong I skipped the rest break when I came to the Stripes station on FM1314 and Valley Ranch Parkway. I stopped for the traffic light to change and then rode across FM1314. This came at the 22.1 mile point of what ended up as a 33.24 mile long bike ride around 1:31 PM. The ride began at 11:51 and finished at 2:08. It didn’t take very long to ride from the Stripes station to the end. I usually allow 45 minutes for the last 11 miles but today I kept my overall average speed at 15.5 mph for about 10 miles until I rode into Kingwood when it slowly declined.

No other bicyclists along the route today. They missed the beautiful weather but they probably have to work.

One more day before the forecasted “cold” front arrives on Friday. Tomorrow should be a repeat of today. Today’s weather at the end of the ride.

Weather conditions

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