I has been almost 2 weeks since my last ride. I’m riding in the Bike New York event next Sunday, so I figured I had to put on some decent miles today. We’ve been going to Bellevue Community Church out in Bellevue for the past few months and I figured that would make a good destination. Holly agreed to drive the truck so that I wouldn’t have to ride back since I didn’t have the time, much less the legs. Church was at 11:30 and I packed a pair of shorts and a fresh t-shirt to change into (this is a casual church) once I got there. Leaving a little late, I just knew that Holly would “catch” me along the ride, but I strove to get as far as I could.

I stayed to the back roads since they are more interesting and have less traffic to deal with. When I got to Brentwood, I was feeling pretty good and was surprised at the quality of my riding. I had made quite a few changes since my last ride and I was happy with all of them. I was using a new Arkel Overdesigns “Big Bar Bag” handlebar bag. It put more weight on the front end, but was quite stable. The new handlebars were great as well and allowed me to climb out of the saddle a lot easier. My trusty old Brooks Professional leather saddle had a fresh application of Brooks Proofide, which made it much more supple and soft. Lastly, I had new brakes pads and cables which, in spite of the few squeaks, were working wonderfully. Everything was just humming along.

I stopped for breakfast (mini doughnuts and milk) at an Amoco gas station and picked up a map. I wasn’t familiar with any back roads west of Franklin Road. After reviewing the map, I realized that I didn’t have many to choose from given my current direction. So, after a few more miles, I was on Old Hickory Road. This is a very popular road that wraps around Nashville and carries a good bit of traffic. I don’t mind traffic, but it’s always nice to avoid it when I can. 🙂 The section of Old Hickory that I was on was mostly two lane without shoulders so it didn’t give me much play. After climbing through the pass at Edwin Warner Park, it expanded to a four lane road, but still no shoulder.

At this point, I figured Holly would catch me in no time. In fact, I was surprised that I had made it thus far! I still had about 10-15 minutes before Church started and as I turned onto Hwy 70 from Old Hickory I quickly realized that I was very close to the church. Hwy 70 is a wide expanse before it reaches I-65, and was mostly downhill. I cranked down the highway, fueled with the adrenaline that I was close to my destination. Soon, I was coasting under the I-65 overpass and realized that I was going to make it!

Upon turning into Hope Park, that’s when my fuel ran empty. There is climb onto the Church campus and after 25+ miles my legs just didn’t have any juice left. Add to that the watchful eyes of the parishioners leaving BCC from the previous mass, as well as the ones driving in to attend the next one and I just bonked. Instead of walking the bike though, I stopped, caught my breath and then continued riding up the hill. I had to do it twice, but I eventually made the rise and flew down the other side, reaching my top speed of the day at 38.9 MPH. As I turned into the parking lot, Holly honked at me from the Jeep. She had made it there just as I was turning in.

It was a great ride and helped boost my confidence that with a few more rides under my belt, Bike New York should be a pleasurable experience.

Total Miles: 25.41
Total Time: 2:07M
Average Speed: 12.19 mph
Maximum Speed: 38.9 mph