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Dropped the Jeep off for Service and Cycled Home

October 21, 2009

Dropped the Jeep off for service at the dealership and rode my Touring bike home (Surly Long Haul Trucker).  I had mapped out some relatively easy routes to keep me off the high traffic roads.  However, there was one spot that was unavoidable, and quite possibly, one of the highest traffic spots in my neck of the woods, and one that I hate to go in a vehicle.  For those in the know, it’s the intersection of Mason-Montgomery and Fields-Ertel Roads, right where many suburbanites get off and on Interstate 71 for their commutes into Cincinnati.  I now have a better understanding why the Regional Bike Consortium (OKI) has these roads marked red (not recommended) and a big red dot at this intersection.

I did chose a way through that was right hand turns though, and wisely, I chose to wait until near the end of rush hour to ride home.  Even so, it was quite intense and adrenaline packed.  In fact, just getting through the one high traffic choke point left me so stoked with adrenaline, that I threw out my original “lower traffic” route and just rode all the way down Mason-Montgomery.  Actually, it was a combination of “I forgot” and “how bad can it be from here… I’m through the worst of it”…. or it could have been that semi-truck that was barreling down on me near I-71 that kept me intensely pedaling for all it’s worth.  Seemed like every time I looked down I was over 20 mph and 100rpm cadence.

It was a bit surprising to me that I could consistently out-accelerate cars from a stop at a red light…. on my steel bike, no less!  My other “take-away”… I’m much more confident about “taking” the lane at a stop light or stop sign (there were many opportunities for practice!)

So… 8 miles; 30 minutes; 28mph max; 16mph average.

What’s slightly embarrassing is that this was better than what I did on my road bike last night sitting on the trainer watching a Race DVD… LOL

I hope I get Green “karma” points for this!  A few more trips like this and casual cross-country touring on low traffic roads will be a cinch by comparison.

This was also a good opportunity to test a couple of new accessories.   My new Sunlite Trunk bag is a nice intermediate step between a seat bag and a pannier, mounting on the top of my rear rack.  It has two small rollup integrated panniers and 5 compartments built into it.  All I needed to store in it today was my bike tools/supplies, tennis shoes, fingerless gloves, and use the top bungee to hold a fleece vest.

My other goodies were a new flashing front and rear light.  I was glad I had the Cannondale bright rear flashing LED (Hindsite Plus).  One of the blink choices is a chaotic pattern that grabs your attention.  For the front light (Topeak LED), I actually clamped it onto my front fork, just below my brake.  I used this as a white flasher to grab the attention of oncoming traffic or those that might try to turn in front of me from a side rode.

Great morning for a ride!  It was crisp in the upper 30’s/lower 40’s, so I layered accordingly: Unpadded cycling shorts, unpadded cycling tights, workout sweats (loose enough to not bind my knees and not too tight to get in the chain); long sleeve wool cycling shirt, Cycling windbreaker, and full fingered gloves.  I thought I was dressed a bit light on top (so I packed a sleeveless vest), but my wool shirt was drenched when I got home.

Now don’t forget to “Share the Road”!!

Share the Road

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