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.

MTB Bike Trail Ride Washed Out

My goal was to ride 16 miles on the Kingwood greenbelt trails to put my August miles over 700 to help make the next three days not so demanding to reach my goal. So much for that plan. I started late (3:42) because I watched the replay of stage 9 of the Vuelta a Espana. I checked the weather radar and didn’t see any rain nearby so I set off. The ride was going great but as I rode out of Woodridge Forest I could see the eastern sky getting darker than overcast sky overhead. I thought it would blow by or not be a threat and continued riding. As I exited the trails onto Crystal Springs Drive to make my way across Woodland Hills Drive and the trail the wind gusts came but I was still optimistic that the rain wasn’t coming. Once I was on the trail east of Woodland Hills Drive it started to sprinkle but under the tree cover it wasn’t that bad. Then I came out from under the hevy tree cover and the wind and rain started coming down hard. The nearest cover was the underpass beneath Kingwood Drive but that was a mile or more away. I picked up my speed which wasn’t much faster since I was on my MTB. I made it across the first bridge and came around a corner to see a lady with an umbrella and a very, very large dog in the middle of the trail. She didn’t see me at first because she had the umbrella tipped down but as I got closer she noticed me and moved to the side of the trail and tugged at the leash to move the dog with her. He wasn’t too interested in that and looked like he wanted to come towards me but she talked to the dog and yanked the leash and I rode by without any contact. The second bridge was ahead and I rode quickly over it and turned left about 200 yards from the dry cover under Kingwood Drive. Because Kingwood Drive is 4 lanes, two in each direction, with a center greenway there are two sections. The first one was collecting water so I rode to the second one where another biker was standing. As I pulled in he got on his bike and rode where I came from telling me it was drier where I was headed. Looking at the rain I decided I would stopped and wait for the rain to slow down or stop. My Elemnt computer showed 9.0 miles at this point. As I waited I decided the 16 mile goal wasn’t going to happen today and adjusted my route. I ended up riding 13.57 miles, putting my August total at 699 miles. This was close enough.

This is the first time that I can remember riding the trails in the rain. I biked when the trails were wet but not while it was raining. I waited at the underpass for about 10 minutes and then got back on my MTB to finish the ride. I didn’t take the shortest route home so I could add a few more miles since I was already soaked. I finished the ride at 5:17 and leaned my bike against the trash can to hose it down. Then I found the hose nozzle was broke and added some water to my situation as I unscrewed it from the hose. With the bike washed down I went inside to dry off. Earlier i saw a picture from Wichita Falls with the sun shining and wished that was here. Since the rain arrived last week it doesn’t want to leave.

More rain in the forecast for tomorrow but I am hopeful I can ride.

I biked 206 miles this week. Year to date I am at 5,553 miles.

I checked my rank at the National Bike Challenge: 961 as of earlier today.

102 Degrees On Trails Bike Ride

Today’s ride was a change of pace as I rode my Motobecane 700HT MTB on the Kingwood greenbelt trails (some streets too) for a total of 18.28 miles. It might have been a good choice with the shade keeping the sun and heat down some. It is super dry around here so I thought it would be good to stop and take a picture of some running water on the trails.

The picture doesn’t include sound but water is running under the bridge from somewhere. From there I rode through Woodridge Forest to check on the new streets coming. These might be another way to exit Kingwood to I-69/US59 for rides to the north. Leaving there I went south of Northpark Drive on the trails. Eventually I was riding beside Kingwood Drive to the east and came to Riverwood Middle School. this sign says it all.

Continuing to ride east I turned left onto Mills Branch Drive. The trail parallels the street and at the elementary school I crossed over to the east side after the west trail ends. The west side goes through some over grown sections that need to be trimmed back. My wide handlebars just made it through. At Northpark Drive I turned left on the trail. Not long after a lady riding a big fat tire bike came from the opposite direction. That is the first fat tire bike I can remember seeing on the trails. I rode through Mills Branch Village, Elm Grove Village and then back home.

I started riding at 12:28 and finished at 2:14. The A/C felt good when I got inside.

I am only 4 miles away from the 765 mile goal for July. With a week to go I think I will reach the goal.

Link to Strava data.

Home Weather Start and Finish