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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Training Log Archive: PG

In the 45 days ending Dec 31, 2018:

activity # timemileskm+ft
  biking - dark blue bike41 56:52:07 759.82(4:29) 1222.8(2:47) 23938
  biking - rental (Austin -Diverge)4 5:22:07 81.89(3:56) 131.79(2:27) 2034
  Total45 62:14:14 841.71(4:26) 1354.59(2:45) 25972
averages - weight:139.4lbs

» now

Monday Dec 31, 2018 #

8 AM


In the 60s. :-)

11 AM

biking - dark blue bike 55:48 intensity: (29:55 @1) + (25:53 @2) 10.58 mi (5:16 / mi) +559ft 5:01 / mi
ahr:97 max:117

Getting warmer, upper 60s, cloudy, sprinkles a couple of times. With Gail, sticking mainly to subdivision roads for safety reasons, had a tour of various developments. Actually pretty pleasant outing, minimal traffic, minimal stress. Nice way to end the year.

And a nice way to end MF2 -- no crashes, never seemed to be much risk (but all it takes is a moment). Rode on all but two of the 45 days (those were travel days to Austin and back), much to my surprise. The weather was amazingly cooperative, always offering a window of opportunity to get out.

Finished at 5,347 miles for the year, 841 miles for the period of MF2. Way more than I expected, but the motivation was so good (especially from Eric and Valerie at the end) that there wasn't a day that I didn't look forward to getting out, and then enjoy it when I was out. That is not so bad. :-)

For all the folks that made a pledge --

1. You can donate online at the OUSA website. Specify it's for the junior team and maybe add a note that it's for MF2.

2. Or send a check made out to Orienteering USA (our new bank seems happy with that, and it's easier than USOF fully spelled out), and send it to:

Orienteering USA
824 Scotia Rd
Philadelphia, PA 19128

Again, specify it's for the junior team.

3. Donations must be received by January 10 to get the match, so please do it right away.

4. It's not to late to join in. Just send in a donation for the junior team by January 10 and it will get the match.

5. Thank you, thank you, thank you.


Sunday Dec 30, 2018 #

8 AM


On the verge of raining, quite gloomy, but no reason not to visit someplace new.

And I don't think trees are supposed to be blooming on December 30th.

4 PM

biking - dark blue bike 8:17 [3] 2.0 mi (4:08 / mi) +150ft 3:52 / mi

Part 1 of the ride, from Bill and Diane's house back to our motel to get my Garmin.

biking - dark blue bike 47:46 intensity: (23:27 @2) + (23:04 @3) + (1:15 @4) 11.62 mi (4:07 / mi) +447ft 3:58 / mi
ahr:130 max:155

And part 2. Similar to Friday, trying to stay off the main roads as much as possible and quite happy to meander through subdivisions. Put out a good effort on all the ups, legs feeling tired unfortunately before I was done.


Never thought this ride would happen. Went off on a family trip to the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. A bad decision, though surely not the first bad decision I have ever made, and also surely not the last. Must have been one of the worst possible days to go -- Sunday over Xmas holidays so everyone looking for something to do with the kids, and foggy/rainy outside. Hey, let's go to the Aquarium.

Packed well past the point where you are more aware of the crowd than the exhibits. And I don't tolerate crowds well (more accurately, I tolerate them really badly). My own internal scorecard had the trip as 90/10. That's 90% awful, 10% very cool. I tried to deal with it, not very successfully, though I guess I certainly could have done worse.

Eventually we left, got back home about 4:20. The rain had stopped. There was still time (doesn't get dark until 5:45 to 6). I've often noticed that the best cure for a bad mood is exercise and that was certainly true again, pretty much wiped the 90/10 right out of my memory bank.

The mind works in strange ways, for which I am sometimes very grateful.

Saturday Dec 29, 2018 #

7 AM


Nice morning. A lake, a bit of woods, some houses. A few runners and walkers going past.

The usual concern when near houses -- how to look at birds that might be nearby, and maybe try to take a photo, without being taken for a peeping tom. Seriously.

So usually I just look at things well up in the trees, ditto in spades with the camera. Haven't been arrested yet, though occasionally someone comes out, wonders what I'm doing. The outcome at that point is invariably good -- especially if there's a good photo to show, or a look through the scope at something pretty -- but the initial moment is always full of suspicion. Human nature, I guess.

11 AM

biking - dark blue bike 1:33:04 intensity: (1:18:33 @1) + (14:31 @2) 15.38 mi (6:03 / mi) +1720ft 5:28 / mi
ahr:90 max:114

Turned out to be a really pleasant day, mid-50s, some sun, not much wind. Last year down here we had a couple of rides with Gail's niece Caroline on the maze of paved bike trails where she lives, with Caroline as the guide. This year Caroline hadn't been riding at all, had a bit of a sore leg, but was willing to come with us.

It turned out that it wasn't so simple. Between the making of the plan the evening before and our showing up at her house late the next morning, she had re-injured her leg in the process of, well, it was certainly a new one for us, in the process of battling a roach. Yup, a roach. I know roaches tend to be (much) bigger in the South than back home, but still, a roach?

Seems Caroline was a bit surprised to see the roach on the stairs at home, and she pulled a calf muscle in the ensuing backwards leap. Though it seems, bad leg and all, she managed to rather quickly dispatch the roach to wherever roaches go when they leave us. A little ice to the leg before we arrived and she was good to go, sort of.

It was clear pretty early in the ride that while the company was excellent and her spirit may have been willing, the flesh was not. We soon determined that enough was enough, swung back by her house and headed out on our own, guideless.

It was still pretty fine, even with regular looks at the phone to see where we were. Mid-50s, sun, shorts. Need I say more?

3 PM


And time mid-afternoon to see if we could find a bike mechanic to adjust Gail's rear derailleur, since I couldn't figure out how (it has electronic shifting). Found a bike shop, asked whether they could find a few minutes to adjust her gears. Sure, bring it in.

Hmmm, seems the piece of metal that the derailleur attaches to was bent (from one of her falls). The guy fixed that. He adjusted the gears, smooth as could be. By the time he had fixed the front brakes so they were no longer rubbing, he also had agreed to look at my bike. Did I say he was really good?

A quick inventory of what mine needed. He suggested maybe we go off for a while, come back in an hour and a half. So we did.

Came back about 5:15. Had a new chain. The rear derailleur now worked smoothly. The brakes were better. But the front derailleur was a disaster, so he had started in on it.

Could he get done by 6 pm, closing time?

It will be close.

Well, then I'll just leave you alone and not bother you.

That would be good.

He was done at about 5:55. The bill was less than I expected. The bikes are now smooth as can be.

Some people are just really good at what they do.

Friday Dec 28, 2018 #

8 AM


Rain. Though I suppose the advantage of rain is that otherwise I would have wanted to stay longer, and it was time to hit the road.

3 PM

biking - dark blue bike 54:09 intensity: (4:48 @1) + (38:58 @2) + (10:23 @3) 11.95 mi (4:32 / mi) +712ft 4:17 / mi
ahr:117 max:145

Drove to Newnan, GA, heavy rain most of the way. But when we arrived in mid-afternoon the rain had stopped and it was 65 out. Put on the shorts and just one shirt and headed out -- how could I resist?

Did a random tour of the vicinity of her brother's house, mainly trying to avoid the main roads, and succeeded at that rather well. Though I was less successful at keeping track of where I was -- twice I had to pull out the phone to see where I'd gotten myself too.

Put out a decent effort at times. Other times just wandering around looking at things.

Thursday Dec 27, 2018 #

1 PM

biking - dark blue bike 1:13:20 intensity: (23 @1) + (1:06:02 @2) + (6:55 @3) 14.01 mi (5:14 / mi) +1054ft 4:53 / mi
ahr:120 max:144

An out-and-back on the Huckleberry Trail, a rail-trail (except where it's not) between Christiansburg and Blacksburg (VA). Where it wasn't a rail-trail was where the old rail line no longer existed due to building a mall (in C-burg) or an airport (in B-burg). So sometimes it behaved itself, gentle grades and gentle turns, and other times it was up and down and around and about. Gail really enjoyed all of the former and 3/4 of the latter (i.e the down and around and about); though she acquitted herself just fine on the up, I think it would be quite a stretch to say she enjoyed it.

Or maybe she did, just not letting on.... :-)

Nice enough day, about 40, light SE breeze, cloudy. It seems both C- and B-burg are in the mountain, the latter a bit higher. Who would have known? Well, maybe Kissy, pretty sure she went to school at Va. Tech.


Wednesday Dec 26, 2018 #

11 AM

biking - dark blue bike 1:30:17 intensity: (22:47 @1) + (1:07:30 @2) 18.01 mi (5:01 / mi) +1021ft 4:45 / mi
ahr:103 max:123

On the way to visit Gail's brother and his family, stopped in Goshen, NY mid-day. Nice ride from there through Chester and just about to Monroe, and then back, all on a rail-trail with lots of character. Mid 30s, light breeze from the NW, seemed just fine.

Would have done fewer miles, but Gail was eager....

Seems to be 5,281. Winding down. Decent weather tomorrow, plan is Christiansburg to Blacksburg (VA), round-trip. And then wet weather expected for the rest of the year.

Not much.

Tuesday Dec 25, 2018 #


No news from mom by midnight last night, so she's in. :-)

Everything is matched, dollar for dollar. Now at a little over $18,000. Still time to add your name, either here, or send me an e-mail,

Thanks, and Merry Xmas.

10 AM

biking - dark blue bike 1:19:04 intensity: (14:35 @1) + (1:02:01 @2) + (2:28 @3) 11.16 mi (7:05 / mi) +1806ft 6:09 / mi
ahr:109 max:142

Spending Xmas eve and day at Charlie and Rhonda's, such a pleasure. Got out late morning for a ride with Charlie. Just perfect.

Low 30s, NW 15 or so, bright blue sky. Started out on the route C and R and Sassy do along the lake, then on past all the logging area, then along an old road along the Farmington River for a bit, and then back. Rough in places, especially the part past the logging, but nothing we couldn't ride, though it was close a couple of times. All places I'd never been, a bonus of course, and Charlie hadn't been on the part along the river for a decade or two, so that was another bonus. As I said, just perfect -- beautiful scenery, fun terrain, had the place to ourselves, and the company of a really good friend.

The wind wasn't much of an issue, often blocked by the hills and the woods, though occasionally it hit you right in the face and was rather bracing, to use Charlie's term.

At one point, cresting a hill that required a good bit of effort and being met by a full-on headwind, I wondered if it might offer an actual advantage, namely, by forcing a large quantity of air into your lungs, all you had to do was open your mouth. And so recovery ought to be quicker and easier. Must be true, because by the time we had finished considering the possibilities we were both fully recovered. Ah, the wisdom of the elders.... :-)


Monday Dec 24, 2018 #

8 AM

biking - dark blue bike 42:02 intensity: (43 @1) + (11:34 @2) + (29:45 @3) 10.05 mi (4:11 / mi) +88ft 4:09 / mi
ahr:132 max:145 weight:139lbs

Out early because I wasn't sure what opportunities there might be later. Upper 20s, calm, bit of a snow shower.

Seemed hard. Maybe because I'd just finished breakfast? On the other hand, it was Monday morning rush hour and I saw only 5 cars... :-)

Sunday Dec 23, 2018 #

8 AM


Valerie. More things out and about than I expected, and pleased to see the larks and the peregrine, though both at some distance. Would have been happy staying (a lot) longer but a delicious brunch chez Bricker was awaiting. :-)

2 PM

biking - dark blue bike 1:07:41 intensity: (1:55 @1) + (1:05:46 @2) 14.26 mi (4:45 / mi) +78ft 4:43 / mi
ahr:108 max:124 weight:139lbs

And a post-brunch ride with Gail, just the right pace -- fast enough to stay warm, slow enough to be mellow. A little colder than I expected, low 30s, modest breeze from the NW.

Lots and lots of water around after Friday's downpours. The Connecticut River is running very high, another factor is snowmelt farther north on Friday. And big sections of farm fields are flooded. The river doesn't seem to be quite high enough to do damage. As for the fields, it's been a tough year to be a farmer around here, rainfall has been about 50% more than average.

My sense is that most years are a tough year to be a farmer.


Saturday Dec 22, 2018 #


Took a Valerie outing just before dark, to Turners Falls: 15 mute swans, about 300 canada geese, 12 mallards, 40 common goldeneye, 1 hooded merganser, 13 common mergansers, a bunch of herring and ring-billed gulls, 14 great black-backed gulls, 1 lesser black-backed gull, 2 bald eagles (adult), 1 kingfisher, 2 morning doves, 1 blue jay, 1 bluebird, about 10 juncos.

A lot less ice around than a few days ago.

1 PM

biking - dark blue bike 58:29 intensity: (52 @1) + (55:23 @2) + (2:14 @3) 14.1 mi (4:09 / mi) +194ft 4:06 / mi
ahr:119 max:143 weight:139.5lbs

I had intended to go longer and up into the lower hills to the west, including an assault of Poplar Hill, but it just didn't happen. It wasn't particular cold out, upper 30s, even a bit of sun, but very windy, WNW 15-20 and gusty. And I didn't really want to deal with it.

Or maybe I just didn't feel like any hills? Not sure if what was missing was the legs or between the ears. Or maybe it's just common sense -- on a number of days I've felt good and added some miles to the plan, also ought to be able to subtract a few sometimes.

Did take a couple of short detours to check out ponds, almost totally ice-free after yesterday's heat wave. Lots of geese. As to whether there was other stuff, well, my eyes aren't good enough without any optics for help.

MF2 so far, 5,227, 9 days to go.

Friday Dec 21, 2018 #

3 PM

biking - dark blue bike 40:06 intensity: (1 @1) + (36:24 @2) + (3:41 @3) 10.06 mi (3:59 / mi) +236ft 3:54 / mi
ahr:122 max:141 weight:139.5lbs

Pouring rain much of the day. I actually really wanted to go out, just to see what it would be like. But I couldn't quite get myself to do it.

But then around 3 pm it eased up a lot, and it was getting warmer and warmer, so it didn't take much willpower at all. Had enough common sense not to go out on the roads, what with the rain and bits of fog and general gloom. To the bike path instead, and the part going east from the malls, only one road crossing with any traffic and not much of that.

Mid to upper 50s! Brisk wind out of the south, 15-20, so a crosswind, which was fine. Raining lightly for the first few minutes, then moderately the rest of the time. Not much company -- one other biker, 4 runners, 3 walkers (2 of them with dogs).

Did a "Valerie" again. :-)

But I was actually really enjoying it. Temperature was pleasant, my legs felt fresher. The parts of me that were getting wet, well, I hardly noticed. Until, that is, I stopped, put the bike back in the car and then got in myself, and realized I was quite soaked from the waist down.

Quite the opposite of yesterday, seemed to take no effort at all. You never know,

Thursday Dec 20, 2018 #

1 PM

biking - dark blue bike 1:38:36 intensity: (2:40 @1) + (1:31:52 @2) + (4:04 @3) 23.49 mi (4:12 / mi) +260ft 4:09 / mi
ahr:115 max:147 weight:139lbs

Tired. Or so it seemed.

Close to 40, minimal wind, pretty nice. Headed south because I had no need to deal with hills. After about 15 minutes I thought maybe I was getting a little energy in the legs, but it was just a false alarm.

The miles slowly went by. I was thinking at some point, this is a little bit like the marathon, you're tired but you're pretty sure you're going to make it, it's just a matter of doing it. And then I thought, be real, this is a lot easier.

But I was still thinking, how many more days to go....

Two highlights of the ride. The first was at the town's elementary school as school was letting out for the day. Just to watch, see if there are problems, look for anyone (child or parent or staff) who seemed upset or angry. But all I saw was happy faces. When the school buses rolled by it looked as if they were empty, but on closer look you could see the tops of heads/hats. They are so small.

The other was getting serenaded by a pileated woodpecker as I came up the driveway. A pleasure, though well short of what's needed to claim a birding day.

Wednesday Dec 19, 2018 #

12 PM

biking - dark blue bike 1:47:09 intensity: (40 @1) + (1:23:08 @2) + (21:17 @3) + (2:04 @4) 22.43 mi (4:47 / mi) +529ft 4:40 / mi
ahr:123 max:156 weight:139lbs

Decided it was time for some hill repeats over at Cemetery Hill in Northampton. Hadn't done hill repeats for quite a while, hadn't ever ridden my bike at Cemetery Hill, so it seemed this workout was overdue.

Though astute readers of AP might notice a third and way more important reason for such a workout, namely that Phil had done something similar yesterday. And this would be just the latest of somewhat ridiculous outings by one of us, just because the other had done it a day or two earlier.

A little competitive? Perhaps. A little insane? Perhaps. But life needs something besides the same old, same old.

I did not copy his workout exactly. I didn't stop at the Smith indoor track to see if I could do intervals there (though that would be interesting). And I didn't want to do such a short warm-up and cool-down. But the heart of the workout, 4 times up a hill, that was what needed to be done.

And hopefully quicker. :-)

Generally on uphills Phil will beat me if we're both on bikes. If we're both on foot he'll beat me really easily. But with me on a bike and him on foot it depends on how steep it is and what the footing is like. He took me easily on the really steep Mt. Tom climb; I nipped him at Ascutney due to the flatter sections near the top. I'm pretty sure he could have had me at Mt. Grace earlier this month, but he didn't show up. Showing up matters.

Today I figured I had him, not such a steep slope, but I didn't know what the conditions were. As it turned out, they weren't too bad -- some mud, some soft places, but no ice or snow. He was doing about 2:40s. I made it up the first time in about 2:20.

And then to be confronted with the ugly truth. It wasn't all that much fun. I would have gladly moved on. But showing up and then doing less than four was failure, no matter what the times were.

No choice. Up a second, and a third, and a fourth time, all around 2:20. Done. Thank goodness. Now just to ride back to Whole Foods via Easthampton, which is not exactly on the way, but I'd never been on that part of the bike path.

Worth doing? Of course. Odds of doing it again? Slim to none... ;-)

5,180 (100 to go)

Tuesday Dec 18, 2018 #

11 AM

biking - dark blue bike 1:37:09 intensity: (4:47 @1) + (1:24:12 @2) + (8:10 @3) 18.65 mi (5:13 / mi) +504ft 5:05 / mi
ahr:116 max:144 weight:139.5lbs

Mid to upper 20s, NW 15-20, sunny. Headed to the old roads at the north end of Quabbin in search of some shelter from the wind and whatever feathered things I might happen to see. And very modestly successful on both counts.

Hands got a little chilly towards the end (was actually out for about 2:40), it was the stops, off with the outer mittens, have a look around. Fortunately I had hand warmers in the mittens, so between stops the fingers would mostly return to normal.

Coming back north along the east side of the reservoir the wind was fierce.

But out of the wind it was pretty nice.

For Valerie -- slim pickings, but did see one loon, a couple of hooded mergansers, and 8 turkeys. With good eyes (to make up for a lousy photo), you can spot two of the turkeys heading into the woods --

Monday Dec 17, 2018 #

10 AM

biking - dark blue bike 1:17:16 intensity: (1:51 @1) + (1:15:09 @2) + (16 @3) 18.37 mi (4:12 / mi) +88ft 4:11 / mi
ahr:114 max:132 weight:139.5lbs

A couple of unexpected pleasures today. The first was, given that the forecast when I went to bed was rain changing to snow during the night and 3-5" expected, to then wake up and look out the window and see only bare ground.

I realize there are folks who cherish the white stuff, and others whose business depends on it. But the folks who enjoy it seem happy to go elsewhere to do so, and the businesses are certainly elsewhere. So other than for building snowpersons, we don't really need it here.

The second had to do with, well, not sure if it was an ailment or an injury or a state of mind, but my left Achilles was feeling irritated yesterday evening and making its presence known. The sort of thing when I was running that would happen from time to time to various body parts, but hasn't been happening much at all since.

Felt it a bit walking around this morning. I was wondering how it would feel on the bike. Was this going to put a sudden halt to all this mileage stuff?

As it turns out, nope, or at least not yet. Felt fine on the bike, and haven't even thought about it since. Certainly an unexpected pleasure.

The ride itself was lacking in adventure. Not without a bit of stupidity, as I was heading down Main Street I noticed that my helmet strap was swinging in the breeze. If you're going to wear a helmet, might as well make sure it stays on it you need it.

I attempted to add a little interest by keeping my eyes open for a barred owl that had recently been seen in the south part of town out and about in daylight. But no such luck.

So mainly I just moseyed along, happy to be out on bare pavement, no ice in sight, legs that were heavy to start but seemed to freshen up as the ride progressed.

And thoughts of Valerie and the offer she made -- If you describe how you end up communicating with your mom, then there will be a "to be decided" bonus added.

Well, without any expectation of a bonus, here's the deal.

Communication is generally though of as a two-way street, but it doesn't have to be if you have the right ground rules set up.

The question went out from me to mom through the best channel I knew for communicating with anyone, including the dearly departed. Namely, Attackpoint. The question being, would she do the same as MF1, do a match.

Now, when I was growing up, a very common saying in the family, especially for mom, was "No news is good news." If you haven't heard from someone in a while, don't worry, things must be all right, you would have heard if there was a problem. It was a very handy phrase, and often heard.

And so we use it again. No news is good news.

I'll give her until Xmas eve, and if there is still no news, we're good to go. :-)

Sunday Dec 16, 2018 #

2 PM

biking - dark blue bike 40:56 intensity: (35 @1) + (11:18 @2) + (28:33 @3) + (30 @4) 10.07 mi (4:04 / mi) +87ft 4:02 / mi
ahr:133 max:154 weight:139.5lbs

Last thing I expected today was to get out for a ride. Forecast was a mix of rain, sleet, freezing rain, and snow starting around 9 am.

Out of the house just before dawn, Christmas bird count today, my group of 6 had sector 15, and my part was mostly along Pearl Street (south of the range, plus a couple of small sections at the very west end of the range.

Had a fine time. Got sleeted on a couple of times, but both times it didn't last long, and got rained on for maybe 45 minutes, but very light rain. Saw a totally satisfying assortment of birds (remember, I have low standards), met several friendly residents, and didn't get shot or even shot at. Pretty good.

The 6 of us grouped up for lunch to compare notes. Had a new leader this year, the previous one had broken her arm while hiking a few days ago. New guy was cool, works for US Fish and Wildlife, supervises National Wildlife Refuges from New York to Virginia among other things.

At some point the question was asked how things were at work under the new administration. Different, he said diplomatically, though his views were quite clear when he offered as an example what they had to do if they, say, wanted to hire a new biologist in Virginia to replace one retiring. Now all new hirings had to be cleared by the Interior Dept., not just USF&W, and an essential part of the justification for every new hire had to be how they would help secure the south border. I kid you not. They've had to get real creative.

And if you're thinking of doing anything illegal at one of the NWRs, go right ahead, as most of their law enforcement folks are on regular rotations to, you guessed it, the southern border.

Did one more short hike after lunch, then headed home. Partway home it occurred to me that, regardless of what the forecast was, it wasn't actually raining and the temperature was about 40. No excuse not to go out. Checked the new rules, Valerie's to be precise, and headed out, 10 miles was needed. No reason to do 15, no reason to do even 11, hell, no reason to do even 10.1, you think I'm crazy?

Though I did think, after I'd gotten out of my bike clothes, how it would have been pretty easy to toss in another 5, or more. But no way was I going back out.

And it still isn't raining.

(evidence for Valerie of the major part of the outing)

Saturday Dec 15, 2018 #

10 AM

biking - dark blue bike 3:08:41 intensity: (14 @1) + (1:29:29 @2) + (1:32:19 @3) + (6:39 @4) 44.07 mi (4:17 / mi) +2107ft 4:06 / mi
ahr:131 max:159 weight:139.5lbs

Low 50's, minimal wind, most cloudy with a bit of sun at times, also some fog as I was approaching Quabbin. Seemed a good idea to do a chunk of miles because December weather is not normally like this.

Started from the vicinity of Whole Foods in Hadley, where I needed to go afterwards, headed over for what turned out to be a successful winter assault on Quabbin Hill, then returned around the south side of the Holyoke range, bringing back some O' memories in the process.

O' memories #1 -- Quabbin. Made the map in the fall of 1978. First event was days 1 and 3 of the 1979 Team Trials in May, then one A meet (New England Champs) in 1981 and two Billygoats (1980 and 1987). A few local meets in the 80s, and then at some point we lost access. Dumb, but I didn't realize it at the time, should have just made events there to benefit the Friends of the Quabbin and they would have been our friends too instead of enemies.

One renegade event there in 2010, part of CSU Superstars weekend (remember Ross and the ax-throwing contest?), a mass start and a different course for everyone, designed so that if everyone ran the way they normally did, everyone would also finish at the same time.

The tower on top is certainly easier to reach on a bike than Mt. Grace was last weekend. There's a nice big parking lot nearby (where Phil parked for his assault on the summit earlier this year). For the first day of the A meet the start was right below the tower, nice view, very friendly. The finish was on the other side of the parking lot, also a nice view but perhaps significantly less friendly due to the severely uphill nature of the finish chute.

O memories #2 -- Departed the Quabbin tower, after a while found myself going west along Bachelor Street in Granby, the southern border of the Mt. Norwottuck map. Platt made this map. Took him about 6 months, January to June of 1987 I think, staying with us. It took him six months not because he was been extraordinarily precise but because he didn't care to go out on days that weren't sunny and pleasant. Needless to say, not much mapping got done that winter. Also needless to say, strange noises kept emanating from his room. He claimed it was music. We were pretty sure he was sacrificing live animals.

First use was for an A meet (and USOF convention) in 1988. I passed by where finish had been, then a little further on where the start had been. There were Billygoats there in 1989 and 1990, really fine orienteering -- this was getting to the end of the era where folks were so happy just to have a color map to run on that they didn't realize that one way to show how good you were was to point out how bad the map was -- and also the requisite foolishness. And then various events over the years, including Jeff Shapiro's Billygoat in 2005, aka the Death March, and Phil Bricker's Blue Hills Traverse several years ago, one of the two best traverses ever (neither, not coincidentally, being held at the Blue Hills).

My favorite of these was probably the 1990 Billygoat. Links to the map, results, story, and other foolishness are here.

O memories #3 -- Circled around the west end of the range, decided to go to the east end of Chmura Road, a spot often used to access the western half of the Earl's Trails map.

That map is much more recent. I made it in the fall of 2011. It was used for days 1 and 2 of the Western Mass 5-Day the following May, and then the Billygoat in 2013. Ah, the 5-Day, back in the days when Alex and Ali were here in the valley and life was very fine. And we raised something over 7K to send the ski-O team off to Kazakhstan.

There is a section of the ET map, north central, almost all dark green because there were some serious enough briers that I didn't want to wander around in there looking for bits of nice woods, nor did I want any future course setter to be foolish enough to put a control in there. There was one quite nice trail that connected the end of Chmura Road with Bay Road (actually, via part of my friend Dave's driveway). So I thought I'd use that to bike over to Bay Road.

Bad decision.

There had been no apparent maintenance on the trail in the last 5 years, so a mix of mud and sand and erosion gullies was on offer. All of that was fine. Also a blowdown blocking the trail, that was fine too. Just that in getting around it, I got about three different sticks stuck in my wheels, but only noticed two of them. So when I went to ride off it didn't take but about 10 yards before my chain had descended into prison, between the frame and the small chain ring (despite my what I thought was successful effort to make that impossible).

Whatever, five or ten minutes later I was on my way again. And a few miles later back at my car, wondering if I should have gone for 50 miles but deciding that 44 was sufficient progress for today toward 5,280. :-)


Friday Dec 14, 2018 #

12 PM

biking - dark blue bike 1:04:40 intensity: (18:48 @1) + (45:52 @2) 13.46 mi (4:48 / mi) +99ft 4:46 / mi
ahr:103 max:118 weight:139lbs

With Gail. Upper 30s, light breeze from the south, cloudy but very pleasant. Relatively easy pace as she is on the rebound from a lengthy cold.

Thursday Dec 13, 2018 #

11 AM

biking - dark blue bike 1:03:23 intensity: (41 @1) + (32:31 @2) + (29:55 @3) + (16 @4) 15.16 mi (4:11 / mi) +388ft 4:05 / mi
ahr:129 max:154 weight:139.5lbs

25, minimal wind, snow flurries.

Just so I remember: Feet were starting to get chilly at about 45 minutes, would have been a problem maybe at 75-90 minutes. Ditto for hands. Face was chilly but fine. Legs were fine. Torso a little chilly at times but fine.

I think the rides are going to be getting shorter and less frequent. But so far so good.

Wednesday Dec 12, 2018 #

12 PM

biking - dark blue bike 1:07:44 intensity: (1:36 @1) + (52:32 @2) + (13:36 @3) 15.94 mi (4:15 / mi) +517ft 4:07 / mi
ahr:119 max:150 weight:140lbs

About 35, NW 10-15, more sun than clouds. A pretty good choice of routes, Headed south in the flats, wind helping a little, then cut back north through a bit of the lower Whately hills. So not really anything straight into the wind. I suppose the trade-off was a bit of climbing, which is fine, and then a speedy downhill.

On the latter I figure my air speed hit about 40, so it supposedly felt like 20F. But 20 in still air is not bad, and likewise, this didn't really feel cold. I believe the proper word is invigorating.

I think the face can take quite a bit before bad things start to happen. I remember many years ago going for a run in the hills with Fred, 10 miles, first 4 were right into a good NW breeze and the temperature was about -5F. Over the next few days a bit of skin peeled off parts of my nose, ears, and cheeks. That was cold.

Coming back by exit 24 off the interstate, just past the truck stop, I spotted another biker up ahead. First I'd seen today. Got a little closer and realized he wasn't moving, just standing. Went past him, saw it was an old guy, long grey beard, rather shabby clothing. Had me wondering, is this a vision of me in a near future? When the time comes, should I be hoping someone takes away my bike, just as I hope they take away my car keys? Sure seems like it.


Tuesday Dec 11, 2018 #

11 AM

biking - dark blue bike 7:00 intensity: (54 @1) + (6:06 @2) 1.45 mi (4:50 / mi) +6ft 4:48 / mi
ahr:109 max:119 weight:140lbs

Down to South Main Street....


biking - dark blue bike (orienteering) 13:27 intensity: (3:57 @1) + (9:30 @2) 0.7 mi (19:12 / mi) +2ft 19:09 / mi
ahr:102 max:116

Ah, such foolishness.... :-)

I figured there couldn't be a better place to celebrate reaching 5,000 than the one and only Mike's Maze, in the process doing my first corn maze bike orienteering. Perhaps the first ever corn maze bike orienteering? Also, perhaps the last ever corn maze bike orienteering?

But it was there and it had to be done.

Got out the sprint map from this year's champs, I'd had 10:50 I think. I figured the last thing I wanted was to be clipped in, so I put on a pair of running shoes because that seemed easier than changing pedals. And got set to go.

The maze, well, like me, it's not as young as it used to be. More precisely, it's old and it's showing its age. But there is still a maze. Of course there were no controls out, and a couple of times that would have been really helpful, but you deal with what's there.

Sunny day, light wind, upper 20s, beautiful. Except it would have been a lot better had it been cloudy, though I didn't realize this until I was in the maze.

Started off, moving nicely to #1, the ground was frozen hard, except where it wasn't. And in those places, where the ground was a dark brown, the top layer must have gotten enough sun that it had thawed and there was now a layer of rather gooey mud on top. With zero traction. Sure made things interesting.

Got to #1 OK, hit the button on my Garmin to take splits, on to #2. Got there, determined that I had stopped my watch at #1 and that I was now actually at #3.

Bummer in 2 ways. Thought for a moment. Decided -- because it was my party and I was making the rules -- that the only thing to do was a do-over. Headed back to the start outside the maze. Got there, deleted the data from the Garmin. Hey, if it's not on the Garmin, it never happened, right?

OK, started off again. Seemed as every minute went by there was more mud. Seemed like riding a bike in this stuff was rather difficult (and thank goodness I wasn't clipped in). Seemed like riding a bike in a maze and trying to orienteer was some combination of difficult and insane. And imagine if there had been, say, the 50 or so folks we get for the corn maze champs all in the maze at once, on bikes.

Nope, corn maze bike orienteering is not going to catch on. But for this one time, well, it seemed just right. Made the 5,000. And I was smiling before, during, and after. And didn't even mind the half hour it took afterwards to clean the mud off the bike (it went down a couple of times, though I didn't.

And I finished the course.... :-)


biking - dark blue bike 8:03 intensity: (2:22 @1) + (5:41 @2) 1.51 mi (5:20 / mi) +44ft 5:11 / mi
ahr:102 max:123

And then back home. So nice to get out orienteering in December....


1 PM

biking - dark blue bike 1:42:19 intensity: (6:02 @1) + (1:35:18 @2) + (59 @3) 20.58 mi (4:58 / mi) +263ft 4:55 / mi
ahr:113 max:134

Had a little something to eat and then out for another ride, take advantage of the good weather. Didn't feel any need to work hard, so I didn't.

Thought I'd visit area where I made my first O' map, actually two little maps, done in either 1975 or 1976, can't remember. Lower Mill River and then Upper Mill River. Got used a couple of times, but I honestly can't remember any details. Black and white, that was the standard back then. Things sure have changed.

So went to North Amherst, then the Mill River Rec Area, then the main trail heading up through both areas. Hadn't been there for quite a few years, but not much has changed. I'll have to see if I can find a copy of the maps.

On the way back saw Gail, still heading out on the Zigzag, so I joined her, figured she'd like the company and so would I, just had to make sure we didn't run into each other. Which we didn't. Very pleasant, then a little before home I branched off to go get a photo of the maze. Yup, looks just like me, old, battered, shrunken.... :-)

Still supposed to be really good weather (for December) for a few more days.


Monday Dec 10, 2018 #

10 AM

biking - dark blue bike 1:24:07 intensity: (41 @1) + (54:45 @2) + (28:41 @3) 20.59 mi (4:05 / mi) +341ft 4:01 / mi
ahr:126 max:147 weight:140lbs

Low 30s, N 10, sunny. To Turners Falls and back along the river. Getting used to these temps, didn't even feel cold when the wind was in my face. :-)

On the other hand, seems I can't do math any more. Was aiming for 4,999...


Sunday Dec 9, 2018 #

11 AM

biking - dark blue bike 1:52:02 intensity: (41 @1) + (46:22 @2) + (1:00:53 @3) + (4:06 @4) 18.17 mi (6:10 / mi) +1670ft 5:40 / mi
ahr:132 max:159 weight:140lbs

So yesterday I contemplated an attempt with the bike, of course, on Mt. Grace. But put it off to another day.

That turned out to be today.

Promised Gail I would behave myself, ie. not do anything stupid, though I suppose just starting this outing was stupid. But I've always felt that I have at least some common sense. I remember one time long ago with a group of runners, we were doing a traverse of the Presidential's, south to north, midsummer, and the weather was not good. Got up somewhere near Eisenhower and the rain started coming down harder and the wind getting stronger and the temperature dropping, and I stopped and said I was going back, this was crazy. Talked the others into too. As it happened, someone died up there that day.

And so today I was totally ready to turn back if conditions called for. Not the weather, specifically, though this time of year any accident that limits your mobility can get very serious, very quickly. Just because of the cold.

Started from Northfield, just to make a proper climb of it. Felt OK on the half-hour climb up the Warwick road, then circled around to the east side of Mt. Grace and headed up the access road. There was snow in the woods in places, and I had no idea what the jeep trail to the tower would be like.

First obstacle was the gate, nothing you could get under or through, easy to climb over but not so easy with a bike. There was a stile on one side, also easy to climb over, and then lots of barbed wire and electric fencing. Took a bit of figuring to determine the best way to get the bike over, eventually sort of swung it up and around and over everything. Time to start climbing.

And there was snow on the road, sporadically at first. Very old snow, crusty, a little icy sometimes, sometimes smooth, sometimes footprints had chopped it up. Made it a couple hundred yards, hit the first bit of snow and under the rules for the day, if there was any doubt, get off before you fall off.

A break at this point, off came the booties, figured I might have to do a bunch of walking, no point in trashing them, plus less traction. Walked not much, back on the bike, working my way up. Probably got off a couple more times for short bits, but generally making good progress until I was about 300' below the summit.

At this point the road got a little steeper, and there was definitely more snow, very little bare ground now, plus a little more ice. Well, time to walk a bit. And so I walked. And walked some more, And walked some more, trying to remember where the ice was (black ice, had melted and refrozen, the worst kind, no grip at all). Took a while. And then maybe 100 yards before the tower, back on the bike as the road flattened out.

Took the obligatory photo (evidence), climbed the tower. easy to see Monadnock, Quabbin, Toby, but there was a lot of haze, so no sign of Wachusett, or Greylock, or the southern Green Mountains. Or, I suppose, Pomeroy... :-)

Beautiful day, the haze notwithstanding, sun and clouds, low 30s, S 5-10.

Back down the tower. And then back down the road, which was mostly a pain in the ass, hanging onto to the brakes, feet unclipped, never knew what the bike would do, trying to not take any chances.

Once more past the gate, gave the bike a better swing this time (first time the rear wheel dropped onto a piece of barbed wire, and I figured that wasn't the smartest thing).

Back on with the booties, around to the west side of the mountain and then six miles of downhill. Maybe I'm getting acclimated, wasn't even cold, though I was pedaling all the way down to generate a little heat.

Fine outing. As good as it gets these days.


Saturday Dec 8, 2018 #

1 PM

biking - dark blue bike 1:14:36 intensity: (55 @1) + (42:28 @2) + (30:43 @3) + (30 @4) 17.73 mi (4:12 / mi) +440ft 4:07 / mi
ahr:126 max:153 weight:140lbs

I thought about doing 51 miles today, get the 5K done in case I croaked tonight. That thought lasted about 10 seconds.

But I did get out, well, had to, because the weather continues to be good for early December and I have to take advantage of the opportunities. Upper 20s, NW 10-15, sunny. Not really balmy, certainly not toasty, but it could be a whole lot worse. And will be. But not today.

What I really wanted to do was explore Mt. Grace up in Warwick, explore in this case meaning see if I could make it up to the top. I think I've only been up once, it was the halfway point in a 50K trail run that Fred put on a couple of times a long time ago. I never ran the race, but I ran the course once while training for a 100-miler.

Anyway, that course went up Mt. Grace following the telephone line cut, and that was a climb I couldn't run then, and surely couldn't bike now. But there is a jeep road that goes up to the top, where there used to be an active fire lookout tower, and I've never been up that. So exploring Mt. Grace means riding up to Warwick from Northfield, to get properly warmed up, and then seeing how far I could get up it. And then, depending on much I could do on my bike, figure out if was willing to hike-a-bike what was left.

And today would have been an OK day for it. Except my legs had been tired yesterday, and I didn't really want to do it with tired legs.

So today was a non-demanding ride around the valley. And the legs felt OK. So, who knows, maybe tomorrow, supposed to be in the mid-30s, balmy.


Friday Dec 7, 2018 #

12 PM

biking - dark blue bike 1:42:00 intensity: (7:28 @1) + (1:29:40 @2) + (4:52 @3) 18.33 mi (5:34 / mi) +495ft 5:26 / mi
ahr:112 max:138 weight:139.5lbs

About 30, NW 10-15, sunny. Old roads north of Quabbin, figured there would be good protection from the wind, and generally there was.

Though no protection from stupidity. One of my favorite sayings is "Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most." Certainly in evidence today. Drove over there, got all my stuff set go and then discovered that I seemed to have forgotten my bike.

Well, it was a nice day, still plenty of time, so back home, got the bike, back to Quabbin. Headed off, this time fortunately it only took a couple of minutes before I realized I didn't have my pack (with camera and binoculars). Back to the car....

The rest was fine. Slow going, sandy places, gravelly places, lots of sticks down, a little bit of ice. And not much oomph in the legs. But that didn't really matter because I wasn't in a hurry. Lots of stops. I was out for pretty close to three hours, and warm enough the whole time.

The reservoir is as high as I've seen it.


Thursday Dec 6, 2018 #

1 PM

biking - dark blue bike 1:50:56 intensity: (1:32 @1) + (1:14:45 @2) + (34:21 @3) + (18 @4) 27.02 mi (4:06 / mi) +598ft 4:01 / mi
ahr:124 max:153 weight:139.5lbs

Executive summary -- it's time for a nap.

Mid-30s, SW 5-10. Another day with no reason not to go out for a while, so out it was, a north-south oriented loop with a few hills and lots of flats.

Legs seemed a little tired to start, but after a while things felt better and the miles kept going by easily. Until about the last 15 minutes, when I guess I just got tired. Didn't have far to go, but the message was clear -- you've already gone far enough. Glad I wasn't still 10 miles (or more) from home.

Anyway, time for a nap... :-)


Getting close, fortunately.

Wednesday Dec 5, 2018 #


I think it's time to get in touch with a major donor to MF1 to see if she might also step up for MF2.

Since her circumstances have changed a bit since then, the approach will have to change too.

A seance is planned for this evening... :-)

Note: I would normally not have a clue about seances and such things, but I just read Circe, and I have some ideas...

12 PM

biking - dark blue bike 1:44:03 intensity: (1:33 @1) + (1:25:29 @2) + (17:01 @3) 23.88 mi (4:21 / mi) +586ft 4:15 / mi
ahr:122 max:145 weight:139lbs

Another fine day for outside activities. Managed to visit a few spots I hadn't been before and get slightly confused (lost?) at least twice. And on the way back to my car, when my hands were starting to let me know that they were getting rather cold, I couldn't resist a detour, just to see where a bike path went that I hadn't been on.

All of these things -- new places, confusion, spontaneous exploration (though not perhaps the cold hands) -- are good, signs that the outing had a bit of adventure to it. Just what I like.

Cold, about 30, but wind was light and there was some sunshine. A little cold on the face at times, but the face seems to be able to tolerate such things rather well.

From the malls on the bike path to and thru Northampton, then Leeds and almost Haydenville before I turned back. Got confused the first time in Look Park, I'd only been by there coming the other direction, missed the turn to the bike path, took a different bit of pavement that led to a parking area and then to decent dirt trail that looked like it might have been the route of an old trolley line. But before long it petered out, just single track.

Kept going, of course. :-)

On a steep side slope. I really was paying attention, as falling would probably have put me in the stream down below, but my skills were up to the challenge and shortly I was back on pavement. And a little while later back on the bike path.

And a little while later, confused again, as the bike path just ended, a big mound of dirt blocking the way forward, a newly paved little side trail offering an exit. I was sure I'd been through there this summer with Phil, but who knows, nothing to do but take the exit and head back to the car.

A side trip on the way back to visit the VA Hospital in Leeds, which was certainly big enough to be a mountain, given that Mt. Pollux is one, but it doesn't have a name, so I guess it doesn't count. Meandered around a bit on top, and then shot back down the hill. From then on my hands were no longer warm.

But it was a good ride, and in December you take what you can get. Best get in the miles while the weather is good.


Tuesday Dec 4, 2018 #

2 PM

biking - dark blue bike 1:25:54 intensity: (45 @1) + (41:34 @2) + (43:35 @3) 20.88 mi (4:07 / mi) +282ft 4:04 / mi
ahr:129 max:147 weight:140lbs

It seems that my summiting of the fearsome Mt. Pollux yesterday must have taken more out me than I would have guessed, because today, when I ventured out on my bike, apparently my legs decided to stay at home. Well, that's not quite right, I'd look down and they were there, going around in circles. They just weren't very happy. I think they were thinking about, and envious, of the snakes on Mt. Pollux, tucked safely (and warmly) away in bed until March or April.

Fat chance of that, there's miles to be done.

It did mean a different route than I had planned. Plan A was up to Lake Wyola, the obvious problem with that plan being that little word starting with u and ending with p. Actually the legs felt OK for the first part of the ride, until I reached the bottom of our driveway, but then....

So I traded in hills for flats, but because that meant going through the open farm fields, I got wind in the bargain. In my face for most of the time, it seemed, though it was probably only half.

A coldish wind too, temps in the low 30s, maybe 10+ mph, not really a big deal, but you do notice it. Of course with the wind, that's wonderful.

Did my loop to the north and then added on a bit extra to the south. Got to maximize JJ's donation to the juniors. :-)


Monday Dec 3, 2018 #

2 PM

biking - dark blue bike 1:58:42 intensity: (46 @1) + (1:31:07 @2) + (26:15 @3) + (34 @4) 28.5 mi (4:10 / mi) +862ft 4:03 / mi
ahr:123 max:153 weight:139.5lbs

With memories still fresh of my successful assault on Goat Peak, and balmy weather (upper 40s, W 5-10, clouds and sun), it seemed like a good time to attempt another new summit. My eye settled on Mt. Pollux. No, not this one --

... that would be quite the hike-a-bike, but this one --

Certainly more suitable for my skill level, and also certainly closer (South Amherst vs. New Zealand).

Though I should have done a better job with my research.

Had a nice pedal down to South Amherst. I'd decided my route to the summit would be up the southwest face, not realizing that it was much more challenging than the more commonly used approach from the southeast, that having the advantage of pavement for half the climb, and then a parking area, and then a gentle grassy final approach.

Whereas I seemed to end up on a narrow, twisty, and at one point very muddy path that, oh the indignity, was more than I could handle. Only walked for about 20 yards, but really, couldn't even make it up Mt. Pollux?

At least the summit was pretty nice. Views in all directions, a lone maple tree to rest my bike against, a bench had I wanted to rest. Passed on the latter. I'd gotten a late start and the day was getting on. Took my evidence photo (with a view of Mt. Norwottuck and The Notch in the background) and headed home, not in any hurry but not dawdling either.

4,852 :-)

Sunday Dec 2, 2018 #

11 AM

biking - dark blue bike 1:22:05 intensity: (10 @1) + (54:34 @2) + (27:21 @3) 20.54 mi (4:00 / mi) +456ft 3:55 / mi
ahr:127 max:142

Driving home from Ratlum Mountain, left mid-morning. The radar, which at breakfast time forecast rain all day, was now much more friendly. The truer test, sticking a hand out the window, confirmed that there was just light rain. Temps at or just above 40, just a little wind, from the north. Perfect day for a ride under my new criteria -- every day until December 31 is a perfect day for a ride, in one way or another.

This time the choice of route was simple. I had no desire to ride on the roads, especially since there was a bike path in Granby that I had driven past many times (maybe a thousand times??), but had never actually been on. Perfect.

Parked, changed quickly and was off, didn't want any loss of courage to change my plans. Headed north first, hoping to get 5 miles, 10 for the round-trip. More than once I wondered if this was going to be into the wind and uphill in both directions. It certainly seemed that way going north, and I was ready to be disappointed going south.

Made it to 5, decided a total of 15 was a more worthy goal. Made it to 7.5, decided the math was easier if I didn't turn until 8. Got to a road crossing just about there and headed back south.

It was clear pretty quickly that there was now at least a slight breeze in my favor. As far as uphill/downhill, not enough to make much difference. But with a hint of a tailwind, certainly more pleasant going south.

At some point I wondered what state I was in. Not my physical state (I had good energy and was managing the wet weather pretty well), nor my mental state (didn't feel like I was doing anything stupid), nor my psychological state (MF2 seems to ensure a good mood), but simply MA or CT. I'd been keeping my head down, cutting down the rain getting me in the face, and if there had been a sign at the state line, well, I'd missed it. But I guess it didn't really matter. What did matter was I knew where my car was.

Got most of the way back and things couldn't have been too bad because I decided to up the number, might as well do 20. So right past the car, but no longing looks nor failure of resolve. A couple more miles south, then back and I was done.

Saw a few cars at the various road crossings and 6 people on the rail trail. Five walkers (2 singles and a triple) and one jogger (women appeared to be in her 50s). I wonder what they were doing out there, I'm sure they thought the same about be.

Not a single other biker.

Clothing report -- shirt was excellent, jacket fine with a little leaking starting at the front zipper, a pair of old and ratty tights just doesn't cut it (butt and legs were soaked before long), hands and feet were just starting to get a little chilly at the end. So 30 would have taken some willpower, but 20 was just fine.

Saturday Dec 1, 2018 #

1 PM

biking - dark blue bike 1:30:55 intensity: (11 @1) + (51:45 @2) + (38:07 @3) + (52 @4) 17.12 mi (5:19 / mi) +1181ft 4:59 / mi
ahr:127 max:154 weight:139lbs

Was driving right past Mt. Tom so thought I'd stop for a ride. First thought was some sort of loop up the road past Lake Bray, then out to 141, then back through Easthampton. But that has one zippy downhill usually with traffic, so less appealing this time of year.

So Plan B, three different out and backs. The first up the Lake Bray road and out to 141, the second back to the NE end of the range towards Mt. Nonotuck, the third back to route 5 and south to Whiting Reservoir and a loop around it. All with either minimal traffic or bike lanes.

But at some point that morphed into plan C. Did the part up and over to 141, just fine, roads clear and dry. Headed past the gate towards Nonotuck, really crappy broken-up pavement covered by leaves and, in places, a mix of crusty snow and ice maybe a couple of inches deep. Making forward progress, so kept going.

The plan C part was, obviously perhaps, the fact that the route went right by the access "road" to Goat Peak. I hadn't done a summit for a while, and Goat Peak would be a new one (on a bike). It was almost irresistible.

Except that, when I reached the little parking area where the access road starts, the area was all covered with snow. Nope, not going to happen. Continued on towards Nonotuck. But I had noticed that where the access road headed up into the woods there was some bare ground.

Got as far as I could towards Nonotuck but then the steepness and full snow cover said enough was enough. Headed back, got to the GP parking, really, how could I not try?

I knew for a proper summiting I had to get both me and the bike up to the top (but not up the tower too). Also knew the last 50 yards were straight up, definitely hike-a bike and not an easy one. The question was how far up the road I could get, and whether I'd trash myself in the process.

Almost failed on the first little pitch, wet leaves on smooth rock and the rear wheel was spinning more than grabbing. Made the second one but not with a lot to spare. Around the corner and the last one, well, I might have made it if it was dry. But on this day not close to enough traction.

Regardless, I was on the ball, priority one, unclip as you're losing it. Smooth as could be. Hiked the bike up the last bit of the road, then up the totally unridable part, and there was the summit. Very cool.

And got back down, still in one piece. Back to the Lake Bray Road. Whipping down that road, thinking the wind chill factor was just a mental challenge, big smile. No time to do the Whiting Reservoir part, back to the car and on to Ratlum Mountain.

It did occur to me that my outing up Goat Peak was not a good use of time as far a racking up the miles. But sometimes you've gotta do what you gotta do.

Friday Nov 30, 2018 #

11 AM

biking - dark blue bike 1:31:45 intensity: (47 @1) + (56:47 @2) + (34:03 @3) + (8 @4) 23.14 mi (3:58 / mi) +364ft 3:54 / mi
ahr:127 max:152 weight:139lbs

Cloudy, 35, minimal wind. Pleasant ride, no particular plan other than stay on the flats. First went and checked out a couple of ponds to see if they were iced over (one mostly, one hardly at all, both owe their existence to the construction of I-91).

Then south on Rt. 5 a bit, used to be the main road before 91 came, now has good pavement, a decent shoulder, and not much traffic. Then eventually getting back to the Sunderland bridge and decided before I went home that I should check out a couple of places on the south side of town.

One was where some residents have been complaining about the high water levels and wet basements and, when you get to the gist of it, the beavers that are damming the drainage ditches. Water didn't look particularly high today, so maybe someone has taken matters into his own hands (or hers, possible but surely less likely).

And near to that is where there are plans to start a chicken processing plant. Looks like it will get approved, as it will be a very, very small operation. And I thought, as I cycled by the spot, that it is easy to look at what other people are doing or accomplishing and feel a little envious, or a little less happy with what you are doing or have done.

But I will not lose any sleep fretting over the fact that I have gotten through almost all of my life without ever opening a chicken processing plant. :-)

And then home. Feet and hands both got a little chilly after about 60 or 70 minutes. Upper body was often a little chilly (I leave the vents open to let moisture out) but totally acceptable. So need to do a more investigating into better gloves and booties.

On the other hand, the shirt I wear under my jacket is wonderful, really does seem to wick the moisture away from my skin. It has two layers, different fabrics. When I took it off, the inside layer felt completely dry and warm. The outside felt damp and chilly. Remarkable.

Thursday Nov 29, 2018 #

1 PM

biking - dark blue bike 1:53:26 intensity: (58 @1) + (52:44 @2) + (57:34 @3) + (2:10 @4) 27.56 mi (4:07 / mi) +1081ft 3:58 / mi
ahr:130 max:158 weight:139lbs

Cloudy, about 40, NW 15 mph. Figured I'd better get some miles in while it was warm (next week highs are supposed to be about 30), so added on a few miles to my intended route. And it went pretty well. Dressed just about right and in a good mood the whole time.

Though the uphills are still hard work, nothing new there...

Wednesday Nov 28, 2018 #

1 PM

biking - dark blue bike 58:56 intensity: (43 @1) + (30:38 @2) + (27:35 @3) 15.13 mi (3:54 / mi) +192ft 3:51 / mi
ahr:128 max:148 weight:138.5lbs

About 40, cloudy, NW 10-15. Was about to head out, checked the weather on the computer, said it was raining and was expected to rain for the rest of the afternoon, maybe a little snow too. Where did that come from? Was supposed to just be cloudy.

Looked out the window, didn't seem to be raining. Figured I better just head out, if it rained, it rained. Headed north up along the river, darker clouds to my east, a sliver of sunlight and blue sky to the west.

A bit windy, fighting it psychologically a little, but not so much as usual, which I suppose is progress. :-)

Turned around in Montague, headed back, still no rain. Back past the house, a short loop through "downtown" Sunderland, just to get an hour in. Back home, dry as could be. Computer still said there were showers around.

I'm not complaining....

Tuesday Nov 27, 2018 #

1 PM

biking - dark blue bike 1:20:22 intensity: (59:02 @2) + (20:58 @3) + (22 @4) 19.95 mi (4:02 / mi) +449ft 3:57 / mi
ahr:125 max:151 weight:139.5lbs

Had to go to the supermarket, so did a ride from there, usual reason, to get some variety. Low 40s, wind W 5-10. Mostly cloudy, a little sun, also got rained on a couple of times. Moderate effort, about what I wanted.

Monday Nov 26, 2018 #

8 AM

biking - dark blue bike 1:37:11 intensity: (33 @1) + (39:20 @2) + (55:48 @3) + (1:30 @4) 24.0 mi (4:03 / mi) +608ft 3:57 / mi
ahr:132 max:157 weight:139lbs

Mid-30s, minimal wind, overcast. Rain predicted by mid-morning so I got out early, but then the rain didn't come until late afternoon. Doesn't really matter, just glad to have gotten out.

Meant to take it rather easy, but then that didn't really happen. Time for Gail to get done with her cold so I have someone to pace me properly.

On the other hand, it strikes me as totally amazing that each morning I seem to be able to walk down the stairs without any difficulty. I still hold onto the bannister because at this age I hold onto any bannister I see. But I go down rather spryly.

Thinking back to when I was running regularly, "spryly" was a word never used in such circumstances. Always some sort of aches and pains. One step at a time coming down, hanging onto the bannister pretty tightly. Much as I miss the running, the biking doesn't seem to beat me up. A pleasant change.

And my back? Usually a little soreness, sometimes not. As long as it stays like it is now, I'm delighted.


4,699 so far. The plan was to get to 4,750 by the end of November. Ahead of schedule just a little, helped having good weather in Austin. And every mile done when the temps are in the 30s (or 40s) is a mile that won't need to be done in the 20s (or teens). And going out when it's colder than the teens isn't going to happen. :-)

Sunday Nov 25, 2018 #

11 AM

biking - dark blue bike 1:18:29 intensity: (19 @1) + (19:59 @2) + (55:48 @3) + (2:12 @4) + (11 @5) 21.12 mi (3:43 / mi) +450ft 3:39 / mi
ahr:135 max:162 weight:139lbs

Balmy day, upper 40s, light breeze from the north. Drove down to West Springfield, did a loop down to Suffield, CT, gently rolling and no snow/ice along the edges, which was the point of going. Well, that and the chance to ride someplace new, which is always a draw.

I'd thought about combining it with a visit to the WCOC meet at Sessions, but with snow still in the woods I decided that there was a reasonable likelihood of slipping/falling, neither something that my back or butt would appreciate. So will wait for another time.

Good effort today, especially the second half coming back north. Trying to hold the same pace as the first half, and the difference between a slight tailwind and a slight headwind was certainly noticeable. Legs have had some energy recently. :-)

Saturday Nov 24, 2018 #


Travel back from Austin. No problems. :-)

Friday Nov 23, 2018 #

11 AM

biking - rental (Austin -Diverge) 1:30:14 intensity: (2:08 @1) + (58:19 @2) + (28:00 @3) + (1:47 @4) 23.52 mi (3:50 / mi) +617ft 3:45 / mi
ahr:125 max:154

Austin tour #3. From my niece's, over to the South Walnut Creek bike trail and out it for about 10 miles. Real nice, just one road crossing. A bit of a SW breeze picking up, noticed it on my way back.

Came back the same way for the first few miles, then Austin streets for the last few miles just for variety.

Another outing that was just plain fun. Love riding new places.

12 PM

biking - rental (Austin -Diverge) 17:11 intensity: (1:05 @1) + (15:51 @2) + (15 @3) 3.72 mi (4:37 / mi) +5ft 4:37 / mi
ahr:115 max:131

And then last ride of the visit, my niece's back to the bike shop to turn in the bike. Right through downtown. Lots of bike lanes there so no problem, but I was taking it extra careful anyway, didn't want to do anything stupid right at the end of the trip that would damage the bike or me.

Warmer today, sun just coming out after a cloudy morning, temps about 70. No complaints.

And good progress (as planned) towards 5,000. But it's about to get harder...

Thursday Nov 22, 2018 #

12 PM

biking - rental (Austin -Diverge) 1:57:36 intensity: (1:32 @1) + (1:44:31 @2) + (11:33 @3) 30.17 mi (3:54 / mi) +741ft 3:49 / mi
ahr:119 max:145

Austin tour #2. Another fine day (especially compared to back home today), upper 50s, minimal wind. Headed north from my brother's on familiar roads and then at some point just started exploring, meandering around north Austin. Heading eventually for my niece's house in east Austin, but when I was getting close I hadn't been out long enough. So off for a bit more exploring, eventually getting to her place with the desired 30 showing on the Garmin.

Totally enjoyable. Minimal risk. And a lot easier doing the miles than it's going to be back home.

Wednesday Nov 21, 2018 #

11 AM

biking - rental (Austin -Diverge) 1:37:06 intensity: (1:33 @1) + (1:05:17 @2) + (30:16 @3) 24.48 mi (3:58 / mi) +671ft 3:52 / mi
ahr:124 max:145

Tour of a bit of Austin. Couldn't have been much nicer. Pleasant day, mid-50s, minimal wind. Riding in shorts. :-)

And Austin is pretty bike friendly, lots of places to go where you've got plenty of space.

Headed north on a route I knew from last year, went a little further than that time, plus wandered around in a few places just playing tourist. Wonderful way to see a city.

And a lot easier getting in a few miles than back home right now. :-)

Tuesday Nov 20, 2018 #


A short trip to Austin to visit my brother and his family for T-day.

Monday Nov 19, 2018 #

2 PM

biking - dark blue bike 1:00:50 intensity: (54 @1) + (12:40 @2) + (47:16 @3) 15.66 mi (3:53 / mi) +130ft 3:51 / mi
ahr:132 max:148 weight:139.5lbs

Today reminded me of why I've never really liked December -- cold, wet, just generally gloomy. Except it's still mid-November. My mood this morning seemed to match the day, gloomy. Had the usual Monday lunch with Dave, that brightened me up a little. But then a ride was on the agenda, and while it wasn't really cold (mid-30s), and there was only the slightest hint of a wind, and the inch of slush that fell overnight had melted, my enthusiasm was pretty low. But there will be days when it will be a lot worse, and I needed to get in a few miles.

Pumped up my tires before I left, had been about 40, got them up to about 55-60, better. Went off and meandered around the flats south of town, putting out a good effort which, when it's on the flats, I feel more in the legs than the lungs. And I certainly felt it in the legs.

And that was all good. Got home in a much better frame of mind than when I left. Thank you, juniors... :-)

That despite a moment of nervousness. At one point a truck came up from behind, waited while a car passed coming the other way, and then I could hear it accelerate. I could see another car coming the other way, but I wasn't sure how close it was because my attention was on a puddle just ahead. And I don't like to go through puddles because they can hide potholes of unknown size, and who knows what might happen.

So I steered as straight a line as I could, right along the edge of the puddle and, as I said, a bit nervous. In a moment I was past the puddle and could pull back to the right, and the truck was by me, and it was clear it had gone completely in the other lane and I had a ton of space.

It's a small town. People give me a lot of space. But I never take it for granted.

Sunday Nov 18, 2018 #


An easy way to check on the MF2 mileage.

9 AM

biking - dark blue bike 1:19:56 intensity: (37 @1) + (28:19 @2) + (50:02 @3) + (58 @4) 20.1 mi (3:59 / mi) +435ft 3:54 / mi
ahr:132 max:160 weight:140lbs

Pretty balmy day. Mid-30s and no wind to speak over at 9 am and didn't seem like it would get much nicer, so might as well get out on the early side. Nice ride up along the river, back through Old Deerfield. Minimal traffic too.

Thinking some more about whether colder (and therefore denser) airis more work to ride through, it also seems that the denser air would mean more oxygen in each breath. So maybe it all cancels out.

Saturday Nov 17, 2018 #


As I mentioned on this log about a month ago, it's time to see if we can raise some funds for the junior program.

In thinking about it, and what form Marathon Fundraiser 2 might take, I have reminisced a bit about the recent past, and in the process discovered that two of the O' events I enjoyed the most were the Junior Nationals this past April at Mt. Tom and, back in January 2015, one of the many events in Florida that Gord Hunter has made happen. Both had lots of kids there. Both had a really good vibe. Both were just plain fun. And I wasn't orienteering.

Over the same time period our juniors have won the last three Future Champions Cups and turned in increasingly better results at JWOC. In Erin Shirm and Greg Ahlswede they have two outstanding coaches. Things are happening.

So it's easy to make the case for supporting the juniors. The challenge is just to do it.

Here's what I'm proposing for MF2. I'm not running any more. I might still have a little orienteering in me, but not much. At this point my regular exercise comes from riding a bike. There is no plan B. And this time of year it gets pretty hard some days to get out the door. Actually, it gets pretty hard a lot of days.

But, invariably, when I do get out, no matter how miserable the conditions might be, I always come back with a smile on my face.

My log shows that this year so far I've ridden 4,510 miles. That's a pretty good number. 5,000 would be an even better number. Targets are nice, and getting to 5,000 has gotten me out a few times this past month when I might not have otherwise. And as the weather gets worse....

As with MF1, I'll start things off with the first pledge. A dollar for every mile I ride from today, November 17, through the end of the year. And if I make 5,000, I'll double it. So I'm possibly on the hook for $980, or more if I just keep cruising past 5,000. Though it's certainly not going to be easy. And I'm not going out when it clearly isn't safe.

So, who will join me to help raise some money for the kids?

Option 1 -- pledge a certain amount a mile, whatever you want. Maybe add a bonus if I make it to 5K. Or whatever other motivation you might dream up. Everything helps.

Option 2 -- figure out your own challenge, make it public, maybe get others to join in supporting you.

If you're willing to help out, just make a comment on this thread, saying what you have in mind. If you'd rather help but not make it public, send me an e-mail at The main thing is to just do something.

Last time lots of folks pitched in. Let's see if we can do it again.

11 AM

biking - dark blue bike 2:19:26 intensity: (18:36 @1) + (1:53:43 @2) + (7:07 @3) 31.34 mi (4:27 / mi) +359ft 4:24 / mi
ahr:113 max:143 weight:139.5lbs

The first part with Gail, she seemed to need a little encouragement to get out the door. We had about 8" of snow Thursday night. By afternoon yesterday the roads had been clear enough to ride, but my enthusiasm had been lacking and I'd passed. Today she had seemed in the same state of mind. So a joint outing at least got us both out.

Did 14 with her. Thought I should do some more, so just headed south, sticking to the flats, it's just safer than up in the hills where you don't know what might be around the next corner, and certainly safer than dirt roads, which can be frozen and icy and you won't know until it's too late.

So anyway, another hour to ponder. Was thinking for a while about whether it was justified to blame something other than me for slower speeds as it gets colder. Like, more clothes on so more wind resistance. Or, colder air, so it's dense, so also more resistance. Perhaps true. Or perhaps just need to pedal harder.

And then also thinking it was time to pull the trigger on another attempt to raise funds for the junior program. The first time, MF1, certainly made a difference. And my sense was, and still is, that there are a lot of folks who are absolutely willing to pitch in, they just need to be asked.

So I worked out the details of what seemed to be a good plan (including that the mileage on this ride would count), and before I knew it I was home, the first 31 miles done on the way to 5,000... :-)

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