Sunday, October 11, 2009

Frost on the Pumpkins

The temperatures really dropped in a hurry this weekend. It seemed like we were enjoying temps in the 70's or so and then boom, the mercury fell 30 degrees. Frost once again has started to appear. No scraping the windshields yet but I am afraid it won't be too long before I will be.

A bunch of us hit the back roads yesterday to do my hill route. It is a good training course for the Iceman in four weeks since there are lots of hills, a couple of them big, and some fast sections in between. The only thing missing was the sand. But due to the heavy rain the day before we did have some mud to make up for it.

Joining me were my team mates Bernie and Shawn, Cycletherapy team members Mark and Derek, and Mark's girlfriend Jen. Bernie, Mark and I were on our singlespeeds, the others had gears. I had driven the course earlier in the morning and marked the top of four hills with orange ribbon so we could have our own little king of the mountain competition. We all knew Mark would probably take first on each one but the other places were up for grabs.

The sun played hide and seek all day and the wind would sometimes make the ride seem very cold. We didn't set any land speed records on the ride, I was struggling with my ribs and they felt worse as the ride went on. We made a stop part way through at one of the cider mills before pushing on.

By the time we got back to our starting area most of us were both cold and tired. It took me a long time to warm up after getting home. But we all had a good time and thought it was a good training ride. It was also fun to ride with someone for a change. Oh, and the KOM competition? It turned out that the singlespeed guys beat the geared riders on every one, and always in the same order; Mark, Bernie and myself.

This morning I started early to head out for a ride by myself up into horse country. The temperature when I started was just above freezing. But I was dressed for it so I wasn't cold nor overdressed. The sky was beautiful blue and the sun made the leaves show up even more. While we haven't hit peak colors yet the maple trees looked especially fine.

I didn't have a lot of power, but my ribs weren't as sore as yesterday. I think the pain pills I took last night were still doing their thing. But the slower speed allowed me to enjoy the sights that much more.

My route today took me past some great old farm houses and big horse farms. But it also took me past one of the stranger things you will find out here. One of the places also has camels and their barn is close to the road. I've never had a camera with me when riding past them but today I did. I only saw one camel, they did have two. I hope the other one is still OK.

Next week we have our team ride and BBQ at our place and then on Sunday I may do another cyclocross race. In two weeks Lake Orion High School is hosting the second annual fall harvest MTB and running races to benefit the local food bank. Hopefully we get a good turnout.

No guesses as to where you are riding.

One of the farms

This "horse" looked a little different

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