With cold weather coming on quick I decided to seize the day and ride the Quarry Loop. I like to get out and ride this 50 mile route at least once a year. The loop travels completely through rural farmland with no services available anywhere so a little planning is always in order. In my recumbent's seat back bag I filled my 70 ounce bladder and added a 20 ounce bottle of Gatoraid for good measure.
The temperature was hovering around 50 degrees F which is perfect for keeping my cheese and liquids cool. The first 12 miles I had a good tailwind but took it easy to save my energy knowing I had alot of miles to cover.
About three quarters of an hour into my ride I reached a milestone on the recumbent. I stopped to take a picture of the odometer after it ticked over to 2000 miles. I keep a paper log book where I record each ride so every one of those 2000 miles I pedaled on this bike are accounted for.
The quarry lies about mid-point in the ride and is a good place to stop and take a break. There is a bridge that spans the gap between the old and new sections of the quarry. During last year's ride I found the road closed and was forced to detour around the bridge because it was being rebuilt. I was anxious to get back to the area and check out the new construction.
|Snack break at the new quarry bridge|
|View from bridge looking South|
|View from bridge looking North|
It's very probable the four tons of gravel my son and I carried to the back yard this summer for the shed base came from this quarry.
After a short break I continued on to the third leg of the loop and turned into a direct headwind from the south. This knocked a couple miles per hour off my speed but thats life on two wheels when your the engine.
|The recumbent draws a crowd wherever I go.|
On the backside of the quarry the ground undulates gently providing some easy rollers that makes the ride interesting for a bit. After a few miles the terrain looks likes this:
Pancake flat glacial plains with a headwind my favorite -Not!
|Soon the golden fall foliage will be just a memory.|
At 2:07:25 I hit 30 miles and was pleased with my pace. I expected today's ride to be over four hours because my riding lately has been pretty sporadic. Encouaged by my 30 mile time I kept the hammer down knowing I would soon turn East and the Southerly wind would be coming at my side and not a detriment on the last leg of my journey. After 40 miles I still felt good with just an overall dull fatigue. No knee discomfort or shin pains which I remember experiencing on this ride in the past. As usual the molded seat of my recumbent was very comfortable. I love this bike for long rides!
Rolling ever closer to home and watching the clock I saw I was going to make it well under four hours and that gave me the incentive to keep the crank spinning.
Bike: HP Velotechnik Street Machine
Ride Time: 3:41:44
Distance: 51.76 miles
Average Speed: 14 mph
Max Speed: 27.1 mph
HP Velo Odometer: 2039.5 miles