Thank goodness for a few days of rest before I tackled today’s ride. The legs were called on for several stretches of headwind pedaling. I saw a Houston Chronicle alert that the wind was going to kick up this afternoon but it said northwest Harris county would be more likely to be where it was. But I think it slid east to to northeast Harris and Montgomery counties. I left home at 1:03 under a brilliant blue sky, 74 degrees and a 15 mph south wind with 23 mph gusts. The gusts were more steady than I thought they would be. Normally by the time I finish the ride the wind will die down some but not this ride. When I got home at 3:56 the temperature was a great 80 degrees, the sky was still a nice blue and the wind was the same as when I left.
With the south wind my usual route selection would be to go south into the wind at the start but I chose to ride north to New Caney and then west to Gene Campbell Road before turning back to home and into the wind. The route totaled 35.86 miles which was the reason I wanted to go north and thanks to the starting tailwind my average speed came in at 15.9 mph. I built up some extra time so that when I was slowed by the wind I could still keep the average speed up. Being off the bike since last Friday meant the legs were rested although Sunday afternoon I spent 4 hours on an extension ladder re-fixing the ceiling fan that I thought I fixed on last Thursday. This time I think the fix will stay.
After today’s mileage I crossed the 1000 mark for the year coming in at 1004 miles. March so far totals 299.62 miles. This leaves 205 miles to reach the March goal of 505 miles. I’ve only biked 1 day this week so today’s miles is it.
I am waiting for the bike shop to call so I can go pickup my new Stradalli RP14 bike. They said they could finish the assembly today.
Tomorrow’s weather forecast calls for partly cloudy sky and 73 degrees, slightly cooler than today.
I missed riding yesterday (Thursday) even though the weather was great. Instead I stayed home to fix our ceiling fan in the master bath. Wednesday evening my wife and I were sitting in the room I label “the computer facility” when we heard a noise like something fell. I did an inspection to find the problem but I did not find anything. When we started getting ready for bed I was walking across our master bath and the two pull chains from the fan hit my head. This should not happen since I cut them to be above my head. Looking up I saw the ceiling fan hanging by two electrical wires from the junction box which had fallen from the ceiling. It was about 1:00AM Thursday morning so I went to the garage for the 6 ft. step ladder. My plan was to at least get the fan down on the floor and fix the problem Thursday morning. The 6 ft. ladder would not get me high enough to reach the 12 ft. ceiling where the fan was hanging from. Out to the garage to get the extension ladder. Putting the ladder up I was able to get the fan down.
In the morning after breakfast I inspected the area and found the screw that held the metal junction box up had come loose. I am not sure why. For 22 years another fan hung from this junction box without any problem. Three months ago as part of our bath remodel I replaced the 22 year old fan with a new one. The only major difference with the new one was a light kit was added. Looking at the screw that held the junction box up I tried to reattached the box to the bracket above the ceiling but I could not get it to thread into the bracket. I went to the hardware store to get a longer bolt but I it was too long so back for a shorter one. After many tries reaching up and out I finally got the bolt threaded into the bracket and the box backup where it was supposed to be. Now hanging the fan I had to remove the blades to have room to wire up the electrical. The fan was hung and the electrical wires attached. The fan worked and as bonus the annoying clicking sound was gone. I put the blades back on and the light globes. By the time I got finished it was after 2:00 in the afternoon. My legs were exhausted from standing in odd positions on the ladder. At one point I went to the garage to look for a bolt and my left knee screamed in pain. I almost wasn’t able to walk back inside but it let up and I went back up the ladder.
So I missed the beautiful biking weather and rested my legs for today. It appears my legs are still recovering today. When I rode into the wind the power wasn’t there to keep my speed up above 15 mph. This pulled my overall average speed down to 15.0 mph which I was able to reach thanks to some tailwind on the way home from Huffman. I added a few extra streets to my typical route to Huffman for a little extra mileage to compensate for not riding yesterday. I ended up biking 32.84 miles which put my March miles at 263.76, over half way to the 505 mile goal (242 miles to go). With 17 days left the potential to reach the goal looks better. This week I biked 132.77 miles and 968 miles year to date.
The weather was not as bright as yesterday with a mostly overcast sky. The wind was 12 mph from the SSE and the temperature hovered at 71 degrees. Tomorrow looks like 80% chance of rain so I don’t know if I will ride.
A while back I read about a famous writer. He had a number of rules he followed and he said they may have helped with his success. One of his rules was to not start with the weather. I am not a famous writer but I thought I would follow this rule. Today though I have to start with the weather.
Yesterday I said I would probably not get to ride because of the cold front that would arrive early this morning. Well that changed once the front arrived. The temperature kept going up and by the time I got ready to ride it was 68 degrees. The sky was clear and the air was clean. The reason it was clean was the wind. When I left at 2:17 the wind was from the NNW at 21 mph with 34 mph gusts. I knew this would be a bear to ride in. My normal ride rotation pointed to a north route. This is good because I think it is best to start a ride into the wind and finish with the wind. By the time I got home at 4:56 the wind was from the N at 26 mph with 34 mph gusts.
The wind was a brute. Every time I rode into the wind my speed dropped to 11 or 12 mph. I went up a gear on my rear cassette to try and lower the effort and maybe increase my speed. It didn’t work very well and I continued to battle the wind until I reached Cumberland Blvd on FM1314. This was my turn around point and I was ready. Going SE on FM1314 the wind was at my back I was able to ride at 20 mph or more all the way to Valley Ranch Parkway where I stopped at the Stripes station. I sat on a plastic pallet in the sun drinking my Diet Pepsi and eating a trail mix bar and two cookies. The sun warmed my leg warmers and my position was out of the wind. I unzipped my windbreaker to let some of the perspiration evaporate since this jacket does not have any vents. I wore this jacket thinking the wind would be chilly but the riding effort and sun kept me warm.
Leaving the Stripes station I went north on Valley Ranch Parkway into the wind. It was hard pedaling and I went slow. At Valley Ranch Bend Drive turning east put the wind at my back where it stayed for most of the ride home. Riding with the wind was not long enough to raise my average speed above 15 mph and I ended up at 14.5 mph average speed over the 30.33 mile route. March now totals 230.92 miles leaving 274 to reach the 505 mile goal for March. This week I biked 99.93 miles and 936 miles year to date.
Tomorrow’s forecast could repeat today without the wind. If that hold true I should be out biking.
I waited today for the Fedex truck to delivery my new bike> It arrived about 12:15 so I was free to get out and ride. At 1:00 I rolled out the driveway headed to the south. With daylight savings time and 72 degrees I figured today would be great to ride a little further than I have lately. The ride was through Atascocita, Eagle Springs and Walden before crossing Lake Houston to Huffman. I rode past the spot where I had my car collision last September. This time school is out for spring break and no traffic was moving around Atascocita High School. That was a reason why did not mind riding there. Since then I pay extra attention to cars pulling out from side streets.
The weather was sunny under partly cloudy sky. The temperature was 72 at the start and 78 when I returned home at 3:56. While I was stopped at the Huffman Chevron I looked at the weather on my phone. I saw a wind advisory starting Wednesday 7:00AM to 7:00PM with a cold front moving through. This could mean no biking tomorrow.
This ride was 35.98 miles long and I averaged 15.4 mph. I saw one other bicyclist and waved at him but did not get a response. Later I saw a couple of trail bicyclists out on their mountain bikes.
March miles: 200.59. 69.6 miles this week. 905 miles year to date. 305 miles left to reach my March goal.