Mowers and Blowers Christmas Eve Bike Ride

The sounds of mowers and grass blowers are not what I expect on Christmas Eve but when you live in southeast Texas warm weather is not unheard of this time of the year. Today’s bike Ride took me on the Kingwood greenbelt trails and some connecting streets. I biked a total of 21.82 miles pushing my December total to 155 miles, 25 miles beyond my goal of 130 miles. Year to date I am at 7,329 miles. I started the ride at 11:17 and finished at 1:17. I decided to ride the trails in the opposite direction I usually go and added a loop west to Lone Star College on the other side of I-69/US59. Earlier this year the City of Houston installed a sidewalk from Chestnut Ridge east of the railroad tracks to Lone Star College. I bike that direction on the streets but not on the sidewalk/greenbelt trail.

The leaves and fall weather, even though winter arrived December 21st, made for some beautiful scenes during the ride. Here are pictures:

MTB Ride Kingwood Entrance Kingwood Drive MTB Ride Kingwood Entrance Kingwood Drive Foster Mills Pond Kingwood Drive Kingwood Greenbelt Trail Near Park & Ride Lot Kingwood Greenbelt Trail Near Park & Ride Lot

The trails were busy today with bikers, joggers, walkers and dogs. All were friendly and shared the trail.

Today’s wardrobe selection probably was overdone with a short sleeve jersey over a long sleeve jersey but i was comfortable. The chilly wind from earlier in the week left replaced with warmer air. Today’s weather at my home weather station.

Riding among the trees and house the wind wasn’t much of a problem but on the open roads it was 13 mph from the SE, which explains the clouds.

With Christmas and family visiting next week I am not sure when the next bike ride may happen. Warm weather and some rain are in the forecast.

Link to RideWithGPS.com map and metrics.

Some Gooey Greenbelt Trails Bike Ride

I was back on the MTB bike today though the overcast sky didn’t make the weather too inviting. The temperature was in the low 70’s but the humidity was around 80% making the trail damp and gooey in places. The route I rode came together as I rode but I stayed on the Kingwood Greenbelt trails mostly. The bike ride totaled 19.34 miles. I left home at 12:43 and returned at 2:26. At the end of the ride I washed the Motobecane 700HT to remove the dirt (not so much) and some built up stuff that bugged me when I noticed while riding.

With today’s ride I am inching towards my 130 mile goal for December. This SportTracks slide shows where I stand for the month and year. The SportTracks year data is about 33 miles less than Gamin Connect data; I think there is a small difference in the way the two programs calculate mileage from the GPS data.

Not many people were out on the trails. One other biker passed me as I rode north on the trail along side of W. Lake Houston Parkway as it cross Ben’s Branch bayou. Before that I detoured around construction workers at Kings River Drive and W. Lake Houston Parkway south of the bridge over the San Jacinto River. It looked like they were cutting the concrete to lay conduit for traffic light signals. The first time through the work area there weren’t any signs on the greenbelt warning of the work but on the return loop a man was putting up a barrier as I came around the corner.

While riding north on W. Lake Houston Parkway I noticed the speed showing on my Elemnt computer dropped 5 to 7 mph whenever a car drove by. I used to have this problem on my Stradalli road bike until I change the speed and cadence sensors from Gramin to Wahoo ones. I moved the Garmin sensors to the Motobecane 700HT MTB and it appears the problem came with them. I don’t know if this is a big enough issue to warrant spending $60 for the Wahoo sensors but it bugs me.

The trail route I rode went to the new greenbelt underpass on W. Lake Houston Parkway and this time I took these pictures.

I thought the road above the underpass was open to traffic but I saw the northbound traffic on the other two lane side of W. Lake Houston Parkway. Several workmen moved around the construction area on the roadway.

There is a small chance of rain tomorrow morning but I hope to go out on my road bike.

Link to RideWithGPS.com map and metrics.

 

Save

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.

Big Differences Riding a MTB vs. Road Bike

I don’t ride my Motobecane 700HT MTB very often (9 times this year) and I notice a big difference between riding my MTB and my road bike. The first thing is the big weight difference. My legs get a workout getting up to speed and staying there. Sometimes I wonder if MTB miles ought to count twice my road bike miles because the MTB weighs about 2 times as much (MTB 32 pounds, Stradalli 18 pounds). Next is the gearing. Pedaling at 100 RPM on the MTB in the largest gear I can turn puts me at 15 mph versus the road bike’s 20+ mph. Today I was spinning like crazy and not going very fast in the lower gears. The Kingwood Trails are mostly flat but there are inclines and pedaling up them I bog down quickly. But the view is different and the ride does not take as much time as a road trip. Today’s bike ride was 15.55 miles long, riding time 1:24:54.

Another difference is my aversion to mud. A MTB seeks mud and I avoid it whenever possible. So far I kept the mud at bay but there are times when it wins. I don’t like to clean a mud covered bike.

Weather conditions warmed up from yesterday. The weather conditions at the end of the ride.

10-23-2016-home-weather-finish-146pm

As you can see the forecast for the next 10 days is very consistent; clear and in the mid 80’s. I plan on taking advantage of the weather.

With today’s ride October mileage increased to 638 and YTD I am at 6,570 miles. Riding 4 days this week I managed 125 miles.