In between the near daily thunderstorms we've been getting here in the Ohio valley I managed to get out for a ride this past Saturday. I really wanted to ride and figured I'd get wet if I had too but I got lucky and had some sunshine and partly cloudy skies. Otherwise ideal conditions for a ride. I loaded up the Motobecane Le Champion and headed over the B & O rail trail parking at the Millsboro Rd. parking lot about 2 miles from the northern end of the trail.
I'm not the first bike blogger to refer to my love of the bicycle and riding as an essential component to physical and emotional well being. If I go too long without riding I get cranky. I was looking forward to getting out and spinning a bit and I'm happy to report I'm still riding high from this weekend's therapy session.
While I'm not a racer I am a fan of bike racing and of course the month of July means Tour De France. Like any good cycling Fred I get caught up in the world's greatest bike racing spectacle and I can't help but be inspired and and go test my mettle on my own go-fast bike. I wasn't really planning on doing a big throw down ride but as usually happens once I got into the ride I noticed I was feeling great and fast. After about 16 miles I arrived at the end of the trail and noticed I was running about 18.5 miles per hour average.
Because I've ridden this trail many times over the past fifteen years I know not to get my hopes up about keeping such a high average speed for the return leg back to the north. The second half the ride from Butler, Ohio back towards Mansfield travels up the Clear Fork Valley ever so slightly up hill. Because the B & O Trail is actually an old railroad bed it was graded very smooth with the least elevation change as possible. Just standing on the trail the gradient is imperceptible to the eye but when you're on a bike pedaling north you can tell it's there. A "false flat" as it is known in cycling parlance. My average speed usually drops a couple miles and hour on the return trip and I know from experience my overall average ends up in the high 16's or 17 mph.
Surprising myself I seemed to have an abundance of power and kept the cranks turning. At the 30 mile point my elapsed ride time was 1:37:43. I haven't seen it that low in a long time. I knew I was scooting along pretty well but seeing that time for the 30 mile split provided renewed determination to dig down and blast out the last couple miles.
On the second half of my ride I only lost two tenths of a mph of average speed. Go me!
I saw this very cool looking fat bike in the parking lot. You don't see these too often in my neck of the woods. I sure would like to take a spin on one of these sometime. They look like a lot of fun.
B & O Trail
Bike: Motobecane Le Champion
Distance: 32.6 miles
Ride Time: 1:46:33
Average Speed: 18.3 mph