Better day

I was able to find a bike shop, yesterday, that could fix the derailleur yesterday.  Several good things came out of that: I was able to ride today, of course and I found out that the derailleur hanger had gotten bent (which probably caused the jog wheel problem).  This also led to the chain hosing up a number of the spokes, so they'll need to be replaced  (scheduled but not done).

The bad thing that happened yesterday was that I got roped into a teleconference for week in the early afternoon today, which really messed with my plans for doing a century today.

Last night, I decided to skip on the Caps game (I watched the first fifteen minutes of play earlier today, and will try to watch the rest tonight) and went to bed just after nine.

Then, when I woke up just after 0300 (bathroom call), it occurred to me that I could do a three-hour ride in the morning, then get the kids ready, then try to finish the century in the mid- to late-morning before the telecon.

So I got out the door a few minutes after 0400, and got on the road.  I was going to go Harbor Center (~35 miles, round trip), then add something else after.  But when I got to the foot of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, it occurred to me that I could turn left, instead, and head down to Mount Vernon.  Making a snap decision, I did that.  I made it down there, turned around, and headed for home.

That turned out to be just under a 3hr ride, at 50.9 miles, which would have been perfect if I hadn't had any stopped time.  I will say, though, that I did not like going down the Mount Vernon trail; south of Old Town, it had many wooden bridges over gullies or creeks, and those scared the hell out of me.  I avoided problems, but man, they made me nervous.  In fact, for much of that stretch, visibility was the limiting factor on how fast I could go (rather a new situation for me).

I got the kids ready and ate breakfast, then got back on the road.  I headed out towards Purcellville; my plan was to go out 24 miles and turn around.  Unfortunately, by this point, I realized that the work done on the front derailleur at the shop yesterday left the end of the cable rubbing the tire.  Nineteen or so miles out, that finally caused a pinch-flat which left me walking back towards a place where I would call a cab.

Before I got there, a helpful biker stopped and talked me into taking a look at the tube to see if it could be fixed (the tire did look slashed, which is why I hadn't already done that).  With his help, we were able to effect a temporary fix (the tube had a small hole for a failure, not a slash.  We fixed that, then put a boot in the tire to keep the tube from bulging out from one spot that was slashed), that got me back home.

From there, I showered, ate lunch (two burritos without wraps) and watched that chunk of the Caps game, then did my telecon.  The telecon was, at least, useful.

Once it was over, I got back on the road to try to do the last twelve miles or so (which also required forty-ish minutes to get over six hours, for Competitive Cyclist purposes).  I lost half a mile or so when I forgot to hit the start button right away, but still was moving.  I wasn't moving super fast, although I did still manage to power up some of the hills (my peak power meter reading of 700W was actually hit right at the 99-mile mark, per Cyclemeter), and got back home at 99.8 miles.  Not wanting to get hosed by Strava, I did a small loop around the neighborhood to get to 100.5 by the time I got home.  And I was pretty beat, so I let it go at that.

I wish I hadn't; Strava calculated the ride at 99.3 miles, although it said almost 4000' of elevation.  That was enough to put me at second place for the Bike Arlington club on Strava, I think the highest I've ever been, there, and first on elevation.  It won't last till the end of the week, but it still made me feel good.  And final moving time was 6:12, so that'll be good for $6 at Competitive Cyclist (I think I'll save up to get to $80 by the end of next month, although I don't know what I'll use it for).

So, definitely less than a perfect day, but far from a bad one.  I just need to find a way to watch the rest of the Caps game and still get to bed early.

Tomorrow will certainly be an easy day (and I need to order the Apple Watch for my wife when I wake up).  We'll see how I feel on Saturday.  Normally, I would try to get in on the group ride then, although I'm not sure if I'll feel up to it (Strava rated the ride as an 'Epic Suffer Score').

Still, it's very cool to find myself twenty miles over my weekly goal in only four days.  Perhaps my goal will be to clear forty miles for the rest of the week, and beat my all-time record for mileage in a week (although that record might have been Sunday-Saturday, not Monday-Sunday; I don't remember).

One other cool thing is that I'm on track to destroy two of the challenges for this month.  In fact, I might even complete the monthly MTS challenge, which I've never even come close to, before.  December was the closest I came, at 120km short (I did 706 miles; I'm at 303 already, this month).

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