Saturday, June 25, 2011

I biked to New Hampshire today.

I biked to New Hampshire today. No, not in New Hampshire. To New Hampshire. From Massachusetts. I know.

I biked a total of 25 miles. This is my farthest bike ride to date. My previous ride had been 14 miles. I’m tired.

I did the Nashua River Rail Trail with a cycling group. I’ve done a few rides with this group, but people usually break off into smaller groups and ride at their own pace. Normally I bike in the 8-10 mph group. Today? The 15mph group. WHAT! I most definitely pushed myself to keep up with them and it was good. I felt strong and it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. In fact, the desire I had to keep up and not fall back (i.e.: failure) kept me pushing to make sure I was with the group the whole time. Granted there was a slight decline on the way out to Nashua that made a 15mph pace not bad at all, but wouldn’t you know it, on the way back that slight decline became a slight incline. If people can walk to school in the snow-barefoot-uphill-both ways, why can’t I bike downhill both ways??

Maureen, Karen and Barry
Me. Obviously.
Trying to pretend this shot isn't set up
We lost Sue (not pictured) a few miles in due to a knee injury and then Maureen about 10 miles in due to a flat tire. Which reminds me, I really need to take a class and learn how to change a tire. I also need to get a tire kit, because if I had gotten a flat today, I would have been screwed. I have nothing with me to fix a flat. My tire pump is an old school pump that is too big to carry along on a ride. I don’t have a replacement tube in case it actually gets punctured and doesn’t just lose air. Going on these long bike rides without supplies to fix flats is just plain dumb. You can bet your Aunt Jemima I’d have been livid if I had to walk my bike back to my car 10+ miles! Luckily Maureen was able to fix her flat with the extra tube she had and was able to make it back to her car!

Welcome to New Hampshire! 
Clever little pit stop in someones
back yard along the trail
After we reached Nashua, Karen and Barry let me lead and set the pace. I actually did pretty well. I kept us at about 14mph for the first few miles. As we got closer back to our starting point, the incline was more obvious and I was fatigued from riding that far so we dropped to about 10-11 mph, which is still pretty good. With about 3 miles left to go, we did our own thing and went at our own pace. Karen took off and left us in the dust. She was very hungry and kept talking about her peanut butter crackers that she had in the car. I think she just wanted to get to them faster! I managed to hold onto her for at least a mile at around 14 mph, then I dropped back down to around 12 mph. I had a sweet mantra going on in my head “The faster you go, the sooner you’ll be done”. I was seriously hurting by this point. I won’t go into detail like I did the last time, but I need to invest in some bike shorts, WITH PADDING. Or a women’s bike seat. Either one. Or both. Shorter rides haven’t bothered me, but for these long rides, more padding is a must.


  1. A few things.

    1) I found padded shorts that fit (Cannondale brand women's specific, mine are size XXL) at Goodale's Bike Shop in Nashua. Hope that's helpful to you. Had to try on a couple of pairs before I found one that was stretchy enough. Still wish they were a little longer, but at this point I'm not willing to buy without trying on (aka Terry's.)

    2) I did buy a bike seat sight-unseen, from Terry. Very nice, generous return policy, highly recommend.

    3) Glad you liked the Nashua River Rail Trail! Loved that little rest stop! I didn't get anything myself; I probably should have stopped to see if they at least have water in the machine (I don't drink soda) in case I would need a refill. I tend to travel with two bottles.

    4) What size are your tires? If we have a chance to meet up at some point, I have a small frame pump I could give you (I bought a nicer one at some point, that has a gauge on it as well), some tubes I could share (bulk buy) and I can definitely show you how to change a flat. Don't know a *whole* lot about bikes, but I can do that.

    What do you have for a bike? (Just curious.) And I have to say, the bike shorts made a BIG, HUGE, GINORMOUS difference in my rides! Wouldn't ride without them now, if I had a choice!

  2. you are quite the inspiration sara!! :)

  3. Caroline: I have a Trek 7000 Hybrid. I don't know the size of the bike tires offhand, but wouldn't any pump fit? An old pump I had from when I was a kid works for it. I thought all tires had the same valve size. Am I wrong? I'm looking into bike shorts and also tri shorts since I don't want to wear regular bike shorts for the triathlon. I've heard they soak up more water and make the rest of the race unbearable.

    Marguerite: Thank you! You are as well!

  4. I think it would be fun to say that you biked to another state. Nice job on the bike ride!

  5. Like the bike! The size of the tires is printed in raised print on the sidewall of the tire. It may make a difference in the size of the innertube you need. Innertubes have a range, and tend to fit a wide variety. The ones I have use Presta valves - the long skinny ones, not Shrader valves, which look like the ones on car tires (mountain bikes & some hybrids use Shraders, which need a larger hole in the rim). The two types of tri shorts I saw at Goodales didn't fit, so I was left with a bike short. Could always swim & change into bike shorts after - would increase T1 time. I may give that a trial run to see how it goes & how wet the shorts stay.

  6. That looks like so much fun!I wish we had nice trails and biking groups like that around here! (or maybe we do?) I've never really looked into it I guess, HMMM!


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