Fall Riding – In the Wind

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Yesterday I did a 4+ hour ride on my MTB. I rode over to Lawrence on gravel, then did the white trails at Clinton and rode back on gravel on the River Road. I fell apart pretty early and it never got better. Ride to the right on Strava. (I’m not exactly sure why that is there now.)

I haven’t felt good riding for a long time now. I thought taking over two weeks off would have helped, but it seems to just have made me less fit and slow. Yesterday it might of been other things I wasn’t taking into consideration at the time. Like it was in the mid 80’s, the wind was blowing over 30mph and I was riding a MTB bike. But, as I write that, even now, I realize I know when I’m riding okay/good. This wasn’t even close.

I lost about 6 pounds and drank 2 bottles, plus a 44 oz Gatorade and a 16 oz Coke. The Coke helped the most. It got me through the last hour. I rarely ride as badly as I did yesterday. Hopefully it was a one time fall occurrence.

I was thinking about baling on the Berryman Epic on Saturday, but I can’t do that. There is a huge cold front coming through tomorrow morning and the high after that is supposed to be in the lower 50’s through the weekend. The same south of St. Louis, where the race is. High on Saturday is supposed to be 49, with a low of 28. That seems pretty cold, on paper, but for racing off-road, it would be good.

I don’t have high hopes for this race, but I have to go through the motions. I need the mileage, plus it is a blast riding for over 4 hours, nearly all on singletrack. The finish place is what it is.

I like the fall for a variety of reasons. I like all changes of seasons. The colors are one good reason. The cool morning and nice days are another. Riding on gravel, you get to see more things than riding on the road. I don’t know if that is because stuff is closer to the road or I have more time to just look around. Whatever the reason, I see more.

Riding on singletrack at Clinton was jarring. The white trail is crazy rocky. And now covered with leaves. It makes it pretty technical. Since I was going so badly, it was extra hard. I wasn’t riding that bad technically, but I didn’t have energy to do it correctly.

I think I’m going to pretty much rest the next couple days. There would be no upside to being tired before a 60 mile MTB race, mostly on singletrack.

Trudi running Bromont a few days ago before it got hot.

There are lots of these rock walls between Topeka and Lawrence. I think the German prisoners of war during WW 2 build most of them.

The camp sites at Clinton seemed closed, except for these guys. Anyone know what kind of truck that is on the tow dolly?

It is a banner year for hedge apples.

All the leaves in Shawnee County fell last weekend. Maybe not all, but most. Guess it’s time to clean the gutters?

This is Fran, she loves playing in leaves.

And our rain gutters are full of leaves too.

I hate this. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. The guy has 3X as many bags further back in his driveway. We need, as a society, a better way to deal with leaves. Sending them to the dump is insane. I have a compost pile in the back.

Up in Mt. Prospect, a suburb of Chicago, they collect the leaves with a sucking machine every Monday in the fall. It makes so much sense. A city service, taking the leaves to the vegetation dump instead of the landfill. It keeps the storm sewers clean. It seems like it would pay for itself.

17 thoughts on “Fall Riding – In the Wind

  1. Tommasini53

    the leaf sucker truck is neat…my stepbrother lives in Maryland and they have assigned days to push their leaves to the street to be picked up by a similar truck…and you can purchase the compost later. not only does it save landfill space…think of all the time (or money if you hire out) it saves the residents!

  2. Bernd Faust

    Steve you’re getting older, so do I . I am 52 now, that means “slow” recovery! It can hit you over night, we are not getting any younger and there is nothing wrong with that, since it is the “way” of mother nature, we can’t fool her, how great is that! For Relaxation I recommend the St. Louis Schlafly Pumpkin Ale, delicious if you like Pumpkin, 8% alc puts you to rest!
    Prost! Bernd

  3. Bryan

    I used to just run over all the leaves in two or three passes of my lawn mower. It shredded them and made for good mulch.

  4. John

    There are a few towns in KC that do the “leaf sucking” thing. When we lived in Roeland Park it was great. They use the leaves for compost/top soil for all the city landscaping…great idea. Deffenbaugh takes the yard waste separately now too, so it becomes mulch for someone. I miss the leaf burning days…I know it’s not good for the air we breathe, but I loved that smell.

  5. roger

    Leaves – Our town had a compost drop off site up until last year. They stopped because they could’t afford to ” run ” it ( I guess it cost too much to man it with a kid sitting in a truck browsing the interwebs ) Funny thing is right around that time trash giant Veolia offered a yard waste bin for a fee of course. Hmm.
    Pretty sure that truck is a DKW mid to late 50’s –
    – Rest – the highly under used tool in the athletes ” tool box”.
    Question. As a aged older endurance junkie I was wondering if you do a weight program of any kind?
    I look forward daily to living vicariously through your blog.

  6. Honch

    Can you get the leaf sucker to come to Berryman? We are going to need those leaves moved off the trail. Glad to see you will be there. Love the determined attitude. Plus, I’m not sure you have much left to prove at that race. Multiple wins, course record… just come out, ride and have a great time at the beer trailer shooting the breeze

  7. Blahblah

    Steve will have issues converting some new wheelset to tubeless, switch between 2-3 forks at 4 a.m., have some issue with socks or shoes or something, and then finish second. Some health issue will keep him from putting out enough watts in the final gravel road stretch or whatever, and taking the win.

  8. Mark

    I remember(I think) that yard waste had to go in yard bags. That way they drop the yard bags into the shredder and make free mulch for any resident that wants it. The idea of putting bio-degradable yard waste into completely non-biodegradable trash bags is ignorant and stupid. That’s like putting leaves into a time capsule. The trash company shouldn’t even pick those up.

  9. H Luce

    You can get a special mulching blade for a lawn mower if you have a lot of leaves, otherwise I just use my regular mower and mulch the leaves into the grass. It helps to have the grass grow a bit so it pushes the leaves up into the mower blades. I’ve never put leaves into bags for the landfill, that’s just wasteful.

    As for the Schlafly Pumpkin Ale, I second Bernd. It’s like ale with pumpkin pie spice, it’d go great with pumpkin pie…

  10. Jody Prummer

    If you’re going to be rude have the guts to post your name. Takes a lot of courage to post under blahblah. Man up blahblah. Steve you may want to see a Doctor to make sure there are no serious issues. I had a good cycling friend die suddenly last winter. He thought he was just feeling bad from a crash but had some real issues. Take care Steve.

  11. Mike Rodose

    I suggest doping. Why? As my name indicates, a little help will put Tilly on the top step. Forever.

  12. peter Koskinen

    There was a year when I was racing on a fairly decent level and working for a major pro team in Europe at the same time. I felt like crap at the end of the Nissan Tour of Ireland and got on the plane with a cold. Apparently I passedout on the flight and when it came time to go thru US Customs in Shannon, the stewards couldn’t wake me. The Doc came, gave me the knock out antibiotic and said you’ll sleep the whole way home. I did. Long story short, I had been burning the candle at both ends for so long that I had no reserves left. I spent the next 12 weeks recovering at my moms house . the docs said that I had been carrying around a dose of walking pneumonia for 4 months and it finally got the better of me. So Mr. Steve, while I like ready your blog everyday, I would rather be reading it from this side than from the other side after you have passed. Take the rest of the year off and recover fully. Like the guy above me said… Believe it or not… We are getting older


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