Ostrich handlebar bag

Lessons and Carols

the quest for more miles continues, all in order for being trained well enough to tag along on long rides, chiefly my memorial day weekend hop and skip up to west virginia and maryland. my stats so far this year are just shy of a thousand miles and 500, just in the month of april all thanks to my daily commute among other rides with weekend warriors.

i however get these weekly miles with a long break for the work day, so this wknd (and more to follow if time allows) i did a 70ish mile ride to Purcellville, VA. this ride had a time of 4:45:00 with 1400′ ascent and squeezed out a 14.1 mph pace. i did this same route last year but on my Fuji, this year in 30min less time. this time the hangover was much less and i felt a lot better the next day. i turned out to be totally fine but decided a break from riding was best and family/recovery was more important. around the 55 mi mark i started to have pretty sharp pain in the knees but i attribute this to the 500 miles in april not necessarily the length of ride. i think the good recovery the day after supports this, we shall see how the next ride goes but proud of the quick recovery, that tells me i am on my way.

i ended up bringing a bowl of apple sauce that i drank and a bag of pretzel chips but ended up not being enough. next time, i’ll bring even more grub. i don’t have money and time to stop at convenience stores. i designed my current front bag to support this need among many other items. there’s only so much you can stuff in a jersey or seat bag. i don’t know how others do long rides without bringing food, i suppose they drink gatorade shots and things of the sort. whatever you need to do, i want real food though and until i find it hard to digest those items while riding long, i’ll keep on eating they way i’m use to.

as alluded to above, my Ostrich bag is now securely on the front rack, with a decaleur to boot. if you’re not familiar with one of these bags, the decaleur acts as a quick release device, just by dropping down the bag into the metal slots – a male and female connection if you will. i have it strapped to the rack’s short integrated backstop and underneath just because i believe in over-kill – not necessarily needed. two pockets face me (phone and wallet), two on the side, one large bag of course, a front pocket, a cue sheet holder and a partridge in a pear tree. i carry chain-lube, mult-tool, food, grease towel, bandana for sweat and protecting my neck, wallet and phone.


i also sold my older Fuji to a lady that frequents Bicycle Space and the downtown #bikeDC scene. she bought it and was ecstatic about the opportunity to ride a classic lightweight and bike downtown. she’s a newb and had many questions and i had the opportunity to explain how the friction shifters work and everything else on the bike. i gave her a small saddlebag too to get started and the remaining pie plate i took off as well as the rear cateye that attached to the seat stay/brake bridge. very excited for her and it was nice to have the bike out of the basement and back on the road. can’t wait to check-in with her later in a few weeks to see how it is going. i’d be lying if when i sold it i didn’t feel sad, i owe a lot to that old thing. but feels good to have it in the hands of a proud owner.

when i was explaining the inner-workings of the bike and its history, she asked how many years i had been into bikes. answer – i have been into bikes for a year heavily (extended rides not for commuting) and she was completely surprised, i guess she was waiting for a “years and years” answer. this was a reminder that sometimes i have to not get too far ahead of myself as far as how much i push myself. here’s the scoop – this time last year i had about 150 miles on the bike, now i’m almost at 1,000. the sharp pain in my knees is a reminder of this but overall with hydration, good diet and as much sleep as i can get with a 10 mo old i think i’m doing OK. most folks i frequent have been doing this for years…confident i’ll be there one day soon.

ride on