Itasca Disasta 207k

I didn’t get to ride the bike at all this week. With the rain early in the week and the hours I worked later in the week, it never worked out. So, I figured I would do a longer ride today. Rando friend Stephen Hazelton was hosting my Itasca Disasta 207k permanent this morning. It starts in Midlothian, which is about 60 miles from here, so I decided I would just drive over and join him.

It was 43 degrees with gusting north winds when I arrived in Midlothian for the 8:00 am ride start. That must have discouraged some of those who were going to do the ride. There were just 5 of us who showed up. I had doubts about whether or not I had brought enough clothes. And I was wearing shorts with leg warmers. With a high of 68 degrees forecast, I figured I would shed the leg warmers some time during the day. It only reached the low 60′s this afternoon. And with that north wind blowing, it didn’t feel close to that warm. I should have just worn tights.

But, it was a good ride, with good company. It was nice not to be toasted from 100 degree weather. But, this chilly weather definitely takes some getting used to. I hadn’t ridden a 200k since May, so knew I would be wiped out at the end, and I was. I ended up with 129.1 miles, and finished the ride in 10:08.

Itasca Disasta route.

Purtis Creek State Park

With the weather threatening today, I decided to stay closer to home, and just ride out to Purtis Creek State Park. It’s just 12 miles from home, and the destination of most of my 25 mile weekday rides. But, I usually just get there, then turn around. Today, I figured I would explore some of the park roads. It really is a pretty place, and if a downpour came, I’d never be further than 12 and a half miles from home.

Halfway to Purtis Creek, it started to rain, and I stopped under a tree when I could see it really pouring down in front of me. Checking weather radar on my phone, what hadn’t even been a blip on the radar when I left home, had built into a major rain storm right where I was, wouldn’t you know it? But, it was headed east away from me, so after a few minutes stopped, the rain was gone and I continued on.

Once I reached Purtis Creek, I explored all the roads. It really is a pretty state park. There are canoes, kayaks, and pedal boats for rent. You can get kayak lessons or go on a kayak tour of the lake (I keep threatening to join that tour in my pedal kayak). There is a large campground, plus primitive camping, mountain bike trails, and hiking trails.

By the time I got near home, it was getting dark and threatening, but not raining yet, so I rode a couple of 2 mile loops near Cedar Creek Lake. Cedar Creek Lake is a 32,000 acre lake just a half mile from home. It’s a great crappie lake, part of the reason I’m hoping to retire here. I got in a couple of loops before the thunder from the dark clouds approaching from the west started getting close. It was starting to sprinkle rain as I pulled into my driveway, so I decided to call it a day on the bike. I ended up with 40.7 miles.

They rent canoes, kayaks, and pedal boats at Purtis Creek.

You can keep crappie and catfish, but bass fishing at Purtis Creek Lake is strictly catch and release.

The boat ramp.

Riding across the dam.

View from near the west end of the dam. It really is a pretty lake.

Below the dam, lots of dead-looking trees from the fire that raced through here a couple of months ago.

There are lots of really nice campsites like this one.

Someone is roughing it.

Martins Mill Again

I installed a new chain on the Corsa yesterday, and took off on it this morning, headed for Martins Mill. It was my first ride on the wider tires. I’ve ridden this size tires (559 x 28 rear and 559 x 25 front) on it before, so knew what to expect. At slower speeds on rough pavement, it adds a noticeable amount of speed, along with a more comfortable ride. At faster speeds, the lesser aerodynamics becomes obvious, especially coasting down a big hill. Overall speed gain or loss, I guess would depend on the route. On the rough roads around here, I don’t think I’ll lose any speed.

It ended up being one of those days where you ride against the wind all day. I rode east to Martins Mill against a southeast wind, then rode back west against a southwest wind, which changed to a northwest wind 13 miles from home. That’s where I hit the cold front. It was pretty impressive, with the temperature dropping 15 degrees or so instantly, and northwest winds gusting over 30 mph. But, I didn’t see any rain, and it was still in the low 60′s when I got home, so I didn’t get chilled at all. In fact, the cooler air felt pretty good, but that wind sure slowed me. I ended up with 62.1 miles.

Today’s route to Martins Mill.