Freshly Waxed Chain, New Bearings, Flatter Elemnt Bike Ride

A freshly waxed chain, new rear wheel bearings and a flatter Wahoo Elemnt could’ve helped me shave a minute per mile off my biking time but alas it didn’t happen as I rode the “New Caney – Gene Campbell Road” route for 37.44 miles. Yesterday while I was forced inside by the rain I took time to wax my chain since it was squeaking some. I prefer waxing to avoid grease marks on my leg and fingers if I need remove the rear wheel. I got the idea to adjust the Elemnt’s bracket from watching the introduction video of the Elemnt Bolt. The new wheel bearings eliminated the 1/8″ side to side movement of the rear wheel and it now spins smoothly as well.

I delayed the start of the bike ride waiting for the temperature to get to 70 so that i wouldn’t wear extra clothing I would regret later in the ride. I still left before noon (11:48) wearing a thermal long sleeve jersey under my University of Cincinnati short sleeve jersey. The 7 mph NW wind had a chill to it from the cool front that passed through after yesterday’s rain. When I got up this morning it was 60 degrees and it took awhile to start warming up. While bicycling west on Gene Campbell Road I could hear the wind whistling through the air vents of my Catlike helmet announcing its presence. The sun went behind the scattered clouds periodically making the wind chill more noticeable.

Tuesday I made the decision to buy the Velocomp Powerpod power meter and it could arrive tomorrow in time to set it up for April bicycling.

Friday’s weather forecast calls for warmer temperatures which is great. I plan on cycling to increase my miles over goal for the month. I am at 643.49 miles after today’s ride, exceeding my 586 mile goal. Last year I biked 722 miles in March which I won’t reach this year. Saturday’s weather should be bicycling friendly but Sunday’s forecast calls for heavy rain. The Bluebonnet Express ride has been rescheduled to April 15th because of the rain threat from Sunday.

Links to RideWithGPS.com and Strava.com metrics and maps.

Home weather at the start and airport weather at the finish of the bike ride.

SportTracks Ride Summary (click the image to enlarge it).

Ride summary

Warmer Weather, Less Clothing Bike Ride

A couple of days can make a difference in march weather. Last bike ride I bundled up but today shorts, long sleeve jersey (non-thermal one) and a short sleeve jersey were all I needed. Setting out on the “New Caney – Gene Campbell Road” route at 12:34 under a mostly cloudy sky the light wind was friendly since it was from the south. The speed was good bicycling north along US59/I-69 helped by the wind. I knew I would pay a price once the route turned back to the south so I built up my average speed to 15.2 mph but once I was cycling on FM 1314 to the southeast the average speed was tougher to hold there. Slowly it dropped and ended up at 14.4 mph at the end of the 37.34 mile long ride.

As I got ready to to ride I noticed my red gloves were showing the effect of the sun with some of the red now a shade of pink. I retired those gloves and opened the gloves that my daughter and son-in-law gave me for Christmas. The new gloves don’t have as much red on them plus it is silk screened instead dyed fabric. Maybe these will survive the Texas summer sun and heat.

I made progress on reaching my March mileage goal with 244.49 miles or 42% of the 586 mile goal.

The late ride start was because I watched the Handzame Classic on EuroSport and it didn’t finish until after 11 AM. The winner was 1/3 my age or less.

No rest stop during the bike ride since it wasn’t too hot and I had the energy if not the power to bicycle into the 8 mph head wind. I planned on watching the NCAA tournament game between SMU and USC thinking it didn’t start until 3:10 but when I finished the ride at 3:13 and turned on the TV they were into the second half. I watched it until the end when SMU missed a shot with a few seconds left and lost 66 to 65. Tomorrow the Milano-Sanremo race is on and I will wait to ride after it is over.

Links to RideWithGPS.com and Strava.com metrics and maps.

Home weather at the start and airport weather at the finish of the bike ride.

SportTracks Ride Summary (click on the image to enlarge it)

Ride Summary

Group of 5 Ride Mostly Montgomery County Roads

Today’s bike ride was a Houston Cycling Club Meetup ride. I met four bikers at Kingwood Park High School about 9 AM to ride the “New Caney – Gene Campbell Road” route. The weather was cool with some fog but that started to leave as we were getting ready to leave the high school. The other bicyclists:

We pulled out a few minutes after 9 AM riding through Woodridge Forest on the way to the I-69/US59 northbound service road. Traffic was light once we were on the service road as we made our way to New Caney. A sort stop at the Shell station in New Caney and we headed west on FM 1485. We moved to the shoulder about 1 mile from the Shell station and biked there until making the left turn onto Gene Campbell Road. The 18 wheelers did not come out while we rode west to FM 1314. I slowed the speed a couple of times on Gene Campbell Road to wait for a couple of riders to catch up after a water bottle fell out. The wind also hampered the speed as it came from the south at 8 mph with 16 mph gusts.

Once were on FM 1314 bicycling towards Porter the wind wasn’t in our face as much. We made a stop at the Sorters Road Valero station and then rode on to Old Sorters Road, turned right going to Briar Tree. Passing through Briar Tree a pair of small dogs came to the edge of the road to bark and maybe chase us but I think they gave up quickly as we passed. Entering Oakhurst we made our way to Northpark Drive, Kingwood Place and I-69/US59 to make the u-turn under the freeway to ride to Kings Manor. I changed the usual route to get us back to the high school where we pulled in a few minutes before noon. We said our goodbyes as everyone prepared to go home. One lived in Walden, one lived in Woodstream Village (Kingwood), one lived in Kings Forest and the other lived in west Houston.

By the end of the ride the temperature was approaching 80 degrees and the clothes I started with (long sleeve thermal jersey, leg warmers, jacket and shorts) were soaked. I was comfortable until about half way through the ride when I noticed the sweat coming out of the sleeves soaking my gloves. I hesitated to take my jacket off for fear the wind and wet jersey would feel too cold.

Links to RideWithGPS.com and Strava.com.

I am within 21 miles of reaching my February goal of 345 miles. Tomorrow’s (Sunday) weather could repeat today’s so I should be able to ride after church.

Today’s weather.

Ride summary

Winter Legs Wilt on Third Bike Ride in a Row

My winter legs showed on today’s ride with this being the third day in a row bicycling. Biking along the “New Caney – Gene Campbell Road” route I biked north with the wind until New Caney where I turned to the northwest for a couple of miles. This section wasn’t directly into the wind but I knew when I moved to Gene Campbell Road the headwind would be waiting. Today’s bike ride totaled 35.37 miles. with about 20 miles of headwind. Up to hitting the headwind I managed to get my average speed up to 15.0 mph but in the headwind it slowly went down to 14.4 mph at the end of the ride.

I left home at 11:56 and finished at 2:25. The weather during the bie ride.

The blue sky went away replaced with a partly cloudy sky but the temperature bumped a couple of degrees to 81. The wind that taxed my “winter” legs was from the SW at 10 mph with 20 mph gusts. From the 19 mile point where I was on FM1314 is where my legs started to complain. The occasional 18 wheeler passing me on FM1314 helped to suck the wind away from and I could speed up until the effect wore off.

I probably overdressed today with a long sleeve thermal jersey under a short sleeve jersey causing me to sweat more than I might have with a regular long sleeve jersey. I was expecting of the wind chill to be more than it turned out to be. Since I wasn’t riding near Lake Houston I should have factored that in.

Links to RideWithGPS.com and Strava.com.

My February goal is 345 miles and today’s riding got me 10% of the way there. We will see how February’s weather allows me to bicycle.

Today's Ride Summary