Labor Day weekend ride reports

This past weekend I was able to have what for me is elusive these days: the trifecta of ride opportunities.  Three rides in four days has become something fairly unachievable for me lately, thanks to work commitments, family commitments, and more work commitments.  But with the office half-empty on Friday afternoon I decided to duck home early for a quick mountain bike ride.

My plan was to climb up to the top of Double Oak Way on the EBSCO property, and then hit some doubletrack trails leading down to Hwy 43.  Then I would simply return with some doubletrack climbing, and then pick up some singletrack that runs alongside Double Oak Way on top of the ridge.  All told I would have had a solid 2-hour ride.  But, Mother Nature had other plans with rain and lightning forcing me to turn around once I got to the top of the paved hill.  As I was actually still feeling sick and congested from a lingering head cold, it was all probably for the best anyway since I likely needed to rest.  But at least I was still able to squeeze out a Cat 3 climb during my short ride.  Strava data can be found here.

Next up was a Saturday road ride.  I was hoping to actually get in a lot of pavement time while riding my mountain bike just to mix things up, but since my shoes were still waterlogged from Friday’s rain-out I was forced to put on my road shoes.  So I put the slicks on my CX bike and headed out during the late morning hours.  It was extremely humid, and rather hot, which did not make for a very pleasant ride experience during my last few miles.  I opted to take Hwy 41 to Hwy 25, then do the massive Hwy 25 climb twice….once heading southeast and once heading northwest.  I also spent some time on Hwy 43 in between my climbs just to add some mileage.  As a rather unexpected bonus, I met a super nice guy hauling a front-end loader up Hwy 25 while I was ascending.  I had been slowing him down since he couldn’t find a chance to pass me, so when he was pulled over at the top of the hill I thought for sure he wanted to harass me (I’ve had it done before after all)….instead he wanted to offer me some cold water from his work truck.  We chatted for a couple of minutes before I headed down the opposite side of the hill….too bad not all drivers aren’t like him.  After a total of 33 miles and 2000 feet of climbing I limped my way back home, still a little groggy from my head cold and glad to be out of the heat.  Strava data can be found here.

Ride #3 came on Sunday, when I put my knobbies back on the CX bike in search of some bike-handling practice.  I knew it needed to be a short ride, i.e. less than an hour due to my available time, so I headed down Hwy 41 to the soccer fields at Sports Blast.  From there I hopped on the Dunnavant Valley Greenway Trail until I came upon a large tree with many branches that had fallen across the trail, making it impassable.  So I simply turned around, lapped a couple of soccer fields to get some grass resistance, then got back on Hwy 41.  I got back on the Dunnavant Valley Greenway Trail at its north end, and rode it until it became too rocky and I would have had to spend some time walking.  A quick zip back home and I was done for the day.  A very short ride, but definitely beneficial in terms of getting more comfortable on singletrack with my CX bike.  And I still climbed over 1100 feet.  Strava data can be found here.

All told I was able to spend around 3.5 hours on the bike this weekend….some good moments and some bad moments.  The best part was being able to have three distinctly different rides, being on my 29er mountain bike, my CX bike with slicks, and my CX bike with knobbies.  With the BBC Century coming up in a few days I really needed the hours under my legs, especially considering that I only had one very brief ride during the two previous weeks dating back to my long ride with the crew from Homewood.


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