Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunday Road Bike Ride

Springtime always keeps me busy with a multitude of chores around the house. Lawn mowing; gardening and basic messing about in the yard and shed are things I always look forward to after a long winter cooped up indoors.  Yesterday I rebuilt a new retaining wall around my south facing flower bed which because of maximum sun exposure is where I grow tomatoes.  

About fifteen years ago I boxed in this bed using standard landscape timbers, the ones that are about three inches tall and have the radius sides.  This lumber held up fairly well over the years but as time passed they sunk into the soil and slowly decomposed.  This time around I decided to go with a more substantial 4" x 6" treated timber to better contain mulch and keep the grass clippings from the mower on the lawn side of the retaining wall.  

At the two corners and along the span where the timbers met I used an electric chain saw to cut lap joints and then drilled a 1-1/8" hole to insert an oak dowel pin. This method similar to that used in timber frame barn construction will keep the pieces sturdy and square.

As much fun as I have with the domestic jobs I can't resist the call to get out on two wheels.  After breakfast this morning I was feeling a little restless and the perfect antidote for that condition is a bike ride.  I loaded up the Motobecane road bike and headed over to Lexington, Ohio where I caught the B & O rail trail heading southbound.

Since I got the new Vittoria Rubino slicks for the road bike I have really been enjoying the nice ride and speed from the new rubber.  The conditions were ideal with just a little breeze and temperature of about 80 degrees F.  The southern end of the trail I rode from Lexington to Butler, Ohio was 11.7 miles and I made it down to the turnaround in 41 minutes with an average speed of 17 mph. I felt great and knowing I'd have the advantage of a little tail breeze to help me out I decided to put the hammer down on the return leg.

Even when I'm racing the clock for time I don't spend a lot of time obsessing over my computer. I usually just leave it set on trip distance and occasionally glance down to see my forward velocity.  Though I was riding long stretches at 19 to 20 mph it wasn't enough to bump my average up over 18 which is a little goal I've been trying to crack.  Nevertheless I did manage to increase my average almost a whole mile per hour on the second half of the ride which also happens to be slightly uphill the whole way so I'm happy with my ride without a doubt.


The village of Bellville, Ohio must have put on a free community refuse collection and they set up the dumpsters along the bike trail.  Look at that somebody threw away a perfectly good half a boat!

B & O Trail: Lexinton - Butler - Lexington
Bike:  Motobecane Le Champion
Ride Time:  1:18:25
Distance:  23.3 miles
Average Speed:  17.8 mph
Max Speed:  25.1 mph


  1. Another fabulous ride RCT! Also, nice wood. Looks nice and hard. Should hold up for years to come.

  2. RCT:
    Funny that you recently replaced your retaining wall; I did the same, except I used the exact timbers you described which rotted away over time. I have some steel steaks that I plan on pounding through the timbers to hold them in place so that they don't go rolling all over when I mow next to them. Just need to get that drill bit!

    Also, +1 on the Rubinos. I have been putting them on my fixed gear for years now; lots of bang for your buck with those tires!