Friday, July 19, 2013

Another Bike Ride

A Nice (But Muggy) Bicycle Ride
on the
Neuse River Trail

The Ride . 18 JULY 2013 (8:45am-9:45am)
Start .... Falls of the Neuse Dam (Downriver)
Ride ..... One Hour Down River (Turn Around)
Ride ..... One Hour Up River (Back At The Dam)
01:58:19 . hh:mm:ss
   42.82 . kilometers
   21.70 . kilometers per hour average speed
   42.90 . kilometers per hour maximum speed

So ... Where did that 43 kph come from?  The river trail is interrupted six miles south of the dam when the trail stops at the WRAL Soccer Center.  You have to exit the soccer center and turn east on Perry Creek Road.  The first thing you encounter on the road is Perry Creek itself and the little down hill to the bridge will bring you to around forty kilometers per hour.  Perry Creek Road crosses US401 at a shopping center and you cross and turn left into the shopping center and continue north in the shopping center to a group of townhouses that border the shopping center. Where you encounter "Trail Head Road" a short road to a small parking lot that has a paved path about 100 meters long connecting to the Neuse River Trail.  

I am not sure if the 43 kph figure was on the way or way back but the ride is totally symmetric. 

While riding downriver I encountered a doe and her fawn.  When they saw me they looked up and the doe bolted down the embankment toward the river while the fawn bolted back into the woods on the other side of the trail.

While riding back upriver I encountered a banded black snake making its way across the path.  I was able to swerve and not run over it.  I additionally encountered a doe standing in the backyard of a house just off the bike path.

Also when I exited the shopping center on the way back and was making my way up the slight incline to the US401 stoplight I noted another cyclist stopped at the light.  I knew on that road the only reason a cyclist would be at that light was for the same reason I was there:  To continue onto the next and final bit of the Neuse River Trail to the dam.  Sure enough that was the case and he was from the western US here in Raleigh with his wife and kids visiting with family.  The kids were in a vacation school with their cousins while his brother in law was at work that day while his wife and her sister we out shopping leaving him the opportunity for a bike ride that would eventually get him back to the VW shop to pick up his brother in law's car which was being serviced that day.  We had a good ride back to the dam where I loaded the bike back up and heading for home while he explored the Falls of the Neuse Dam area.  

Here are some pictures:

[1] Arriving At WRAL Soccer Center (1/2 hour about 10K into the ride)

WRAL Soccer Center


[2] Arriving At The Turn Around Point. About 1 hour and 22K into the ride. (A really cool suspension bridge across the Neuse River):

Suspension Bridge

[3] Arriving back at the Dam this is a picture of the outflow are of the lake.  Two hours into the ride and 43K.  Since that water in the lake may be coming from the bottom of the lake I did wonder what it would be like just to go jump in.

Back At The Parking Lot

[4] All my kit.  I take all this along even on a two hour bike ride:

  • Bike - A very old LiteSpeed Tuscany (1999).  I'm going to replace the shifters this summer.
  • Frame Pump - I use a Topeak Road Morph G Bike Pump With A Gage. And I can not say enough about how great this pump is. You can easily pump your tube right back up to 100 psi easily after changing a flat.
  • Two Water Bottles (and I did drink BOTH this day).  In the past few years I've given up on drinking sugary drinks like gatorade or tea and switched to water exclusively.|
  • Under-Seat Tool Kit (Has: swiss army pocket knife, tire changing kit, combination hex wrench set, compact bike lock.
  • Helmet - With a nice SafeZone rear-view mirror. I also weara cloth cap under my helmet so the sweat does not drip down into my eyes.  The sweat actually wicks into the short brim then drips missing my eyes and glasses when the brim is forward and runs down my neck when the brim si backward.
  • Gloves - padded. I love the knit/crochet-back padded palm gloves best of all and whenever I see them in the bike store purchase a pair.  They seem to be getting rarer and rarer these days.
  • Dark Glasses - I do wear prescription glasses and the dark ones I choose are sort of wrap around and I find very comfortable.
  • Back Pack: Contains wallet, insect repellent, wet-wipes, sunblock, first aid kit, folding tire, two spare tubes, folding rain jacket.  I have a CamelBak Mule that Evelyn gave me for Christmas a couple of years ago.  It does have room for a large water bladder but I've got it so full of other junk that I do not even have the bladder in it (And I find that I am always within two water bottles of fresh water.)
  • Bike jersey --- In the back pockets are ziplock bag of apple slices, a ziplock bag with banana cut into three pieces, my cell phone, and my iPod Touch (version 5 with a nice camera in a ziplock bag and in a otter-box)
  • Bike shorts --- I use BagBalm just before putting my shorts on.  I also wear 'bib-style-shorts' because I am overweight and thus the non bib style tend to roll down.
  • Bike Shoes - I just recently switched back to SPD-Cleats and wear Keen-Bike-Sandals and find them very comfortable.  This brand has a bigger 'toe-box' and fits my 'duck-feet' better. I always wear socks too.


[5] And after all that a very hot (dripping wet) rider.  I think I should have started earlier in the day.  By the way that cap, is by 'Le Coq Sportif' (Rooster Sports) and has the 100th edition le Tour de France logo on the side and I can no longer find them on the web!  I also got a white one for Evelyn.

A Hot Rider (dripping wet)
[6] 100th Edition of le Tour de France Logo