Blue Norcross AL First Bike Ride

Today’s bike ride initiated my new bike, the Blue Norcross AL, that I mentioned yesterday. I chose the “Oakhurst – Valley Ranch” route to ride 29.1 miles. The cool front that blew through yesterday hung around overnight. while I drove home from church before noon I kept checking the temperature reading in the Jeep to see if it would get to 70 but it didn’t by the time I got home. The NW wind had a chill to it so I wore a thermal long sleeve jersey under a short sleeve jersey and bike shorts. This would keep me comfortable once I warmed up. After I was ready to ride my wife took a picture.

I rolled out the driveway at 1:01. The bike rode crisply and the gears shifted smoothly. Though the tire pressure was only 70 psi the ride was firm. It has been a number of years since I rode a metal frame road bike. My measurements for the saddle position from my Stradalli transferred correctly to the Blue Norcross AL and I felt comfortable riding. I learned the distance from the seat to the ground was different from the Stradalli though. The first stop where I need to put my foot down was longer than I expected so I had to move forward from the saddle and straddle the top tube to put my foot down. After that I leaned the bike slightly to the right to reduce the distance.

The wider tires moved over road bumps and debris easily but I could hear the small knobs on the tire whirring as I rode. I think this bike will be a good replacement for my Motobecane 700HT MTB. No PowerPod readings on this ride. I purposely left the power meter off this bike.

Below are some picture of the Blue as I took it out of the box and began to assemble it.

Links to Strava.com and RideWithGPS.com.

Strava Extended Statistics
Strava Extended Statistics

Assembling the Blue Norcross AL (click on the image to enlarge it)

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Big Weather Shift Bike Ride

It’s a good thing I looked at the weather forecast before leaving on today’s bike ride. A “cool” front would pass through while I rode the “Atascocita – Walden – Huffman” route dropping the temperature and increasing the wind. I decided to over dress and wear a long sleeve jersey and a short sleeve jersey, and shorts. I was extra warm until about 12 miles into what ended up being a 33.55 mile long ride when the front arrived. This was on Pinehurst Trail riding to Walden. I could feel the change in the temperature. When I started the ride at 11:10 it was 82 degrees with mostly cloudy skies and a light breeze. By the time I finished at 1:37 the temperature dropped to 73 degrees and the wind was out of the NW at 17 mph. Thankfully my precaution wardrobe choice kept me comfortable.

Many years ago I got caught while out biking when a strong cold front arrived. I was riding along US59 near New Caney. In a matter of minutes the temperature dropped sharply into the 50’s and the wind chill got hold of me. That time I had not dressed like I did today. It was a shock to my body. I made it home but it took awhile to warm up.

Other bikers were out along the route. When I rode by the Church on the Lake on Fairlake Drive there were several bikers in the parking lot chatting. I waved and they waved back. One bicyclist was coming towards the street and I thought he might follow me but I didn’t see him in my rearview mirror as I rode south and through the curve. Later riding on Atascocita Shores Drive on the way back to Kingwood another biker was going the opposite direction.

The wind was a problem from the 12 mile point until the end of the ride. I was surprised the wind wasn’t as tough when I rode west over Lake Houston on FM 1960. Without any wind break I expect to buffeted around but I was able to keep a steady line. Riding east was tougher with the wind catching my high profile rims and trying push me to the side.

I need 202 miles to reach my April goal. I plan on biking tomorrow after church. The weather should be like today after the front moves out.

Yesterday I received my new bike. With the help of my wife I assembled it yesterday evening. It is the Blue Norcross AL cyclocross bike. The plan is to replace my heavy Motobecane 700HT mountain bike with this lighter bike. I hope to ride it tomorrow. I need to move the pedals from the MTB until the Shimano 105 pedals arrive next week. I will post pictures when I do the first ride.

Links to Strava.com and RideWithGPS.com

Strava Extended Statistics

Strava Extended Statistics
Strava Extended Statistics

Airport weather at the end of the ride

Back on the Road From Watching Astros Bike Ride

After a day off when my wife and I went to the Astros game I was back bicycling today on the “New Caney – Roman Forest – Valley Ranch” route for a total of 40.59 miles. I started at 11:42 with the temperature around 82, mostly cloud sky and a 10 mph breeze. By the time I finished at 2:52 the temperature bumped up to 85, the sky was still mostly cloudy but the wind was a killer: from the south at 13 mph with 22 mph gusts. This explained why I rode so easily to Roman Forest Blvd. and into Roman Forest.

The return leg from Roman Forest Blvd. to Kingwood wasn’t as easy or quick. The wind slowed the speed down and the pedaling effort up. For a time after a quick stop at the New Caney Mobil station to wipe the screen of my Elemnt computer I shifted down a gear to help me on the south bound service road while biking by the closed shoulder in front of the new Walmart under construction. Once I was beyond that area I shifted back to the 34 x 13 gearing. I could see the watts go up some with the increased effort pedaling.

I took a short stop at the Stripes store to refill my water bottle and eat a trail mix bar before doing battle with the wind again.

Once I was back in Kingwood I thought I might get caught in the rain again when a few drops starting falling while I was about 2 miles from the finish but the drops ended and I made it without getting wet again. I hosed the Stradalli at home since I didn’t take time to do that after Wednesday’s wet ride.

With today’s bike ride I am at 536.34 miles for April, 236 miles to reach my goal. With 9 possible biking days left I will need to average 26.2 miles per day if I ride each day.

Links to Strava.com and RideWithGPS.com for today’s ride.

Strava Extended Statistics
Strava Extended Statistics

Airport weather at the end of the bike ride

 

RainX Better Than Sunscreen Bike Ride

RainX would have been better than the sunscreen I put on. I delayed starting the bike ride to allow the rain clouds on the radar to move away from where the “Atascocita – Walden – Huffman Extended” route for the ride traveled. Just before I started at 12:01 a few rain drops fell at home. Later as I rode south on Pinehurst Trail a few more drops hit me but not enough to get me wetter than the perspiration did. I could some dark clouds to the south but I hoped they would move away like the others did.

After that rain incident all went well. I took a break at the Huffman Chevron about 21.8 miles into the ride. As I sat there I could some dark clouds to the west but I thought they were beyond where I would be biking later in the ride. A 20 minute rest and I got back on the bike to complete what would be a 35.12 mile ride.

Biking north on FM 2100 I made the turn on Smith Road to get back to FM 1960. The wind was helpful until I made the left turn onto E. Lake Houston Parkway where in became a headwind. Back on FM 1960 bicycling west across the lake I made good time. So far the rain stayed away. On Atascocita Shores Drive I started to feel a few rain drops but as I rode along it picked up making the street wet and me too. The last 7 miles of the ride was in the rain. Mostly it was light until I got close to the finish when it rained a little harder. By the time I finished at 2:51 I was soaked.

Maybe the next ride will be drier. Yesterday rain fell until mid-afternoon so I didn’t bike.

Link to Strava.com and RideWithGPS.com

Strava Extended Statistics
Strava Extended Statistics