Average speed: 12.3 mph
Vertical gain: 2,330 ft.
I am still processing my big ride across the country, working on the ride report and catching up on all the mundane things I had put off, such as reconciling my credit card statements. But this weekend, Jennifer, Ernie, and I are staying with friends up in New Hampshire. So I got to go for a ride yesterday around Squam Lake, the real-life setting of the great movie “On Golden Pond”.
This 33 mile ride was my third since arriving home, the first over 15 miles, and the first not on Bill. I rode my carbon fiber road bike, affectionately called Willoughby.
Fully loaded, Bill, the titanium touring bike, weighed about 75 pounds. Empty, with racks but no bags, he is about 25. Willoughby weighs 16 pounds. The difference is transformative. Acceleration is quicker, hills are easier, everything is faster.
On the other hand, the Ti touring bike was much more comfortable than the carbon fiber go-fast bike, swallowing bumps and vibration. This was especially noticable on fast, bumpy downhills, of which there were many.
Also, the carbon fiber bike felt twitchy on this ride. I think this is because my muscle memory is used to weight, on the front especially, which was not there. This bike never felt twitchy until I rode a loaded touring bike.
The route is one I have done several times before. It is New Hampshire hilly, which is to say, a lot of short, steep hills. There was one hill in particular, coming out of Sandwich center, which is incredibly steep, over 12% I estimate, for maybe 2/10 of a mile. I remember it well, having never successfully climbed it without walking. Despite my confidence, conditioning, and light bike, I had to walk part of it yesterday as well. But overall, I felt good and rode strong.
Parts of the route, like the roads hugging the lake, were really pleasant, while other parts, like Route 25 out of, and Route 3 back into Meredith, not so much.
Lunch was in Holderness, at Walter’s Basin Restaurant and Pub, overlooking the lake where I had a very good grilled chicken and Greek salad wrap.
I’m thinking of doing a big ride tomorrow. The weather looks favorable, if cool. I’ll see how I feel.