Thursday, July 20, 2017

Arlington Pond Loop Fail

After a couple of more successful shorter rides and another successful completion of the Hooker Farm Road loop, I felt ready to attempt the longer Arlington Pond loop. I felt good for most of the first half, but weakened thereafter. By the time I got to Shore Drive, where I usually fly, I was struggling: legs felt weak and tired; arms neck and shoulders ached. I decided to abort, and go home via a shorter, flatter return. Very disturbing, because I did hydrate and fuel up appropriately. When I got home I felt a little dizzy as I was bringing my bike into the house. Checked my vitals. O₂ sat was OK, but BP was 90/48! It took almost an hour for my diastolic to hit 60, (normal threshold.) I have a doctor appointment Thursday; will be discussing this with him. ~ Tony

Total Elevation: 658 ft. Max Grade: 7%

Weather: 94°F, hazy
Terrain: flat to rolling
Distance: 16.15 mi
Speed: (avg) 10.74mph; (max) 40.4mph;
Average Cadence: 68 rpm

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Lesson Learned

As a diabetic I have to be careful to fuel appropriately for exercise. Today I made the wrong decision. Our friend Debbie joined us for a morning Bike ride over the Hooker Farm Road loop. I didn't want to ride with a belly full of breakfast, so I just had a mug of coffee with cream and sugar. Felt good for the first half of the ride, but ran out of gas at the base of the steep section at the end of North Broadway and never really recovered. I had no legs by the time we hit the gentle uphill of Hampstead Road. We stopped near the Rusty Lantern Market. After a little discussion we agreed that it seemed my blood sugar had crashed. Debbie was kind enough to buy me an energy bar and a Gatorade, offered with a gentle lecture. We decided to take the easy way home by Broadway rather than tackle the North Street hill.. Didn't feel strong, but recovered well enough to propel myself back at a reasonable pace. I'm lucky to have such good friends. ~ Tony

Weather: 80°F, sunny
Terrain: flat to rolling
Distance: 9.69 mi
Speed: (avg) 11.6mph; (max) 33.6mph;
Average Cadence: 72 rpm

Friday, July 14, 2017

Hooker Farm Road including North Street Hill

Today I rode our Hooker Farm Road loop, complete, including the North Street hill, a bit more challenging than the last ride. I've done a few shorter rides in between, pushing myself a little harder, and challenging my legs and cardiovascular system. Today I felt good and strong for the first half of the ride, but had to back off a bit on the steeper gradients and the North Street hill.  That hill is fairly long with some steep gradients which, mercifully, present as short steps up the hill. I felt pretty good overall, and didn't suffer much of the discomfort of earlier rides. Ready to take on some bigger distances. ~ Tony

total gain: 479 ft grade: 0% max grade: 8%


Weather: 68°F, cloudy
Terrain: rolling
Distance: 10.12 mi
Speed: (avg) 11.04mph; (max) 32.7mph;
Average Cadence: 69 rpm

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Hooker Farm Road - Easy

Today we had a nice ride on our Hooker Farm Road loop - Easy, returning via Broadway. It's a little longer and a tad hillier than our last ride, but pretty easy anyway. After our last ride I raised my handlebars to give myself more breathing room. I did the ride again, and it seemed to help. Today I was fairly comfortable for about 2/3 of the ride, but started to feel sore, needing to shift positions frequently toward the end. Our ride was nearly ten miles with almost 400 feet of elevation gain, about one fifth of what we're going to be doing daily at BikeMaine Pathway to the Peaks in September, but it's still early July, so I'm not too worried. I did feel better today overall, and I'm losing weight, so there will be less to lug up the hills in Maine. Judy's doing great, and she's very patient with me on the hills.

Weather: 84°F, sunny
Terrain: flat to rolling
Distance: 9.69 mi
Speed: (avg) 10.96mph; (max) 33.78mph;
Average Cadence: 72 rpm

As I said before, Veloroutes elevation profiles make flattish courses look much more challenging than they are. This time, though, I didn't doctor it, because, to me, this is actually how it felt. LOL

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Shakedown Ride 2017

For a number of reasons we are getting a late start on our 2017 bicycling season. We cleaned, checked, and lubricated the bikes, pumped up the tires, and set off for a short local ride. The bikes performed perfectly, and Judy did very well. My legs felt good, but my shoulders and arms ached, and my heart and lungs were on strike, a concern, because we are signed up for the BikeMaine Pathway to the Peaks tour in September, a week long tour of 355 miles, averaging 55 miles a day, with 16,432 feet of elevation gain! We have some work to do!

Weather: 82°F, sunny
Terrain: flat to rolling
Distance: 6.89 mi
Speed: (avg) 11.08mph; (max) 21.91mph;

If you're familiar with Veloroutes profiles, they tend to make flat courses look challenging, so I doctored it to resemble more closely our actual route.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Crystal Shores - a Splash of Autumnal Color

Over the last couple of days we have hiked in our own back yard on some trails where I used to ride my horse when I was a kid: the Crystal Shores, Crystal Point, and Crystal Gorge Conservation Areas - easy day hikes, but providing some splendid scenery and, at this time, a splash of autumnal color.

Crystal Point - A goose forages amid the glowing reflections of Autumn. See Gallery
The first day we did a short hike in the Crystal Gorge Area - some variegated terrain, but, nevertheless, an easy hike. The trails were well-marked, and, even without a map, we managed to make a nice little loop for ourselves. The gorge itself is a small stream between two ridges - fun to negotiate, but far from the breathtaking experience of Ausable Chasm or Quechee Gorge.

Crystal Gorge - We had a nice hike on well-marked trails around and through the gorge.

Crystal Gorge - on the trail to the gorge See Gallery









The next day we hiked the trails of Crystal Shores and Crystal Point. The trails are easy and well-marked, with many jog-offs to scenic views of the lake and inlets. Crystal shores trails, sadly, dead end on private property, but we were able to make a nice loop otherwise.

Crystal Shores - on the trail See Gallery

Crystal shores - Scenic View See Gallery

Map of Crystal Shores and Crystal Point Trails






From the parking lot at Crystal Gorge, we walked westward down Crystal Street to the entrance of Crystal Shores, followed the well-marked trails with side trips to take pictures, then walked eastward on Crystal Street to the entrance of Crystal Point for another nice loop and splendid scenery.

Crystal Point - Judy enjoys a scenic view See Gallery




It's been a long time since I've revisited this old haunt. It's nice to see the trails so well-maintained, and heartwarming to be treated to this all-but-forgotten scenery. We will definitely visit more often.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Winnekenni - Return to Birchbrow

A few days ago we were hiking on trails from Winnekenni Park to Plug pond, an area we had previously ignored, and discovered and explored some interesting ruins. Upon doing some research we learned these were the remains of the Birchbrow Estate which presided on this hill over plug pond. The centerpiece of this estate was the 30-room Birchbrow Mansion, a grand mansion which was the summer cottage of the Sanders family. More Here and Here.  It became apparent that we had only explored the stable, carriage house, guest cottage, cistern, assorted outbuildings and other structures, but had missed the mansion and its grand entry stairs, so we went back and did another hike of Winnekenni with the object of finding the mansion.

Judy knocking on the great door of the Birchbrow Mansion - See Gallery
 We started with a 3 1/2 mile hike around the shores of Kenoza lake, and then followed the Castle Trail to the trails that head down to Plug Pond.



Just below the cistern we stayed to the right, a section we had not previously explored, and there she was.



From the site we could still glimpse the shimmering waters of Plug Pond through the trees. It must have been quite a vista back when these were open fields. We explored a little and took some pictures. See Gallery

We returned again the next day for just a short jaunt from Plug Pond with friend, Wanda. We explored some more and took more pictures. 

Judy and Wanda atop the back staircase - See Gallery
It's quite a feeling to explore among such echoes - a hike through time...