Today was the longest ride of the week at 43.41 miles. I rode the “Kingwood – Hare Cook Road – Kingwood” route to the southeast towards Crosby. I started earlier than the other rides this week at 9:07 and got back home at 12:48. Along the ride I saw 36 other bikers, mostly on FM1960 on the Lake Houston Causeway. A few stragglers were on Fairlake Drive and Old Atascocita Road. I left earlier to avoid the heat some and because I decided to watch stage 20 of the Tour after I got back rather than before. It was nice to be back home 2 hours earlier than yesterday when I watched the tour before riding. With this many miles today it puts me at 208.16 miles for the week and 719.26 miles for the month. Now that I am within 115 miles of my 834 mile goal for July I think I will declare Sunday a rest and recovery day. Out of 25 days in July I biked 20 and 9 days in a row. This is the third time I rode this route this year.
At 31.8 miles into the ride I reached the Chevron station in Huffman for a needed rest stop. Before that I only stopped for stop signs, traffic lights and to refill my water bottle at a Shell station on FM2100 north of Hare Cook Road. I was at the Chevron about 40 minutes allowing time for most of the sweat to dry up after using 6 or 7 paper towels to stop the perspiration from running down my arms and legs. I soaked a Greensheet newspaper I sat on so much the pavement was wet when I picked it up. I wore wrist bands which seem to soak up a lot of sweat before it reaches my gloves. The weather screen shots while I was at the Chevron station.
The overall average speed came in at 14.9 mph but it was up to 15.2 mph for several miles and 15.1 mph as late as 41.2 miles before dropping as I slowed the pedaling to home the last 2 miles in Kingwood.
For the last couple of weeks I have noticed the rusty bolts holding the handlebar in the stem. At first I was thinking titanium bolts until I saw the price on ebay.com. I thought I remembered seeing stainless steel metric hex head cap screws at Lowe’s. Last night on the way home from dinner my wife and I stopped at Lowe’s and bought 4 bolts. I took one of the rusty bolts with us and the sizing tool at Lowe’s gave the size as 5M-.80 x 16. When I got home I replaced each bolt individually to not mess with the handlebar setting. The lock washer on the old bolts was a chore to remove but thanks to some 3in1 oil and pliers I moved them from the old bolt to the new bolts. Now when I ride I can look down on shiny stainless steel cap screws holding the handlebar. The stem is carbon fiber. Below are the old and new screws. Tomorrow I am looking at the rear derailleur cable to see why the shifting to smaller cogs is not working right.