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Posts tagged ‘sunflowers’

swim, ride, sunflowers … (and a turtle)

riding Mason's bike (thanks, M!)

I am ready for summer to be over with.  The heat has been unbearable.  Dangerous enough for repeated “heat warnings” from the weather service.  It feels kind of ironic that it’s actually more difficult for me to be cycling in the summer than the entire rest of the year.  Lately, it’s been early morning rides – lasting only as long as the morning cool and shadows last.

And lots and lots of time spent underwater.  😉

underwater-cam

Earlier in the week I had a derailleur cable mishap, so I ended up riding Mason’s bike for a few days until I could have mine repaired.  It was kind of a nice change – I didn’t realize how super-light and responsive his bike was compared to my own.  At least it briefly made me feel fast, even though I probably wasn’t … I am truly more like the couple of box turtles that I “rescued” from the road this week.  😉

I can't help stopping and moving them off the road

There is a wonderful field of sunflowers in the neighboring county that I wanted to ride out to and photograph.  How could I not be thinking of images of the Tour and the famous sunflower-and-bicycle shots?  It’s about a 40-mile, two+ hour ride, and I’d been putting it off because of the heat – having no desire to be out that long in triple digit temperatures.  Unfortunately, I waited about a week too long; the heat is still intense, and the sunflower heads are heavy with seeds and drooping.

Dillon and I finally ventured out there, leaving early this morning.  By the time we got to the fields, I attempted a few lame-o shots … but heat index was climbing, we were both dripping in sweat, I couldn’t find the right vantage point, and neither of us felt like spending any more time in the hot sun, which was getting higher and hotter by the minute.  Oh, timing.  Maybe next year?

sunflower fields - Hamilton Co.

It's too hot out here to be messing with more photos, ok?

Next week will bring a change of scenery, a change of bikes … and some different water.  No sunflowers, and probably no turtles.  It will be a surprise.  Meanwhile, stay cool and be safe.

#330daysofbiking Day 92: dear weather, you win

me & my Hincapie sunflower jersey (reaching for camera from Mason, little did I know...)

... and the real thing; bright orange-red sunflower

Five o’clock (pm) and the mercury is reading 97’F.  In the shade.  Good grief.

It was warm this morning, but I figured if we got out early enough, we could beat the worst of it.  The boys and I were in the mood for a road ride, so Mason, Dillon and I headed out for a long-ish (~40 mi) road ride.  We drank plenty beforehand, and took extra bottles along.  Not so bad as we headed out.  Boys were feeling pretty peppy (and maybe a bit competitive?), and decided they wanted to do the climb on Mahan Gap – a several mile long slog, with a 10% grade in the half-mile near the top.  I’ll do it in the cooler weather, but knowing my heat-tolerance limits, I decided to take the alternate less “climb-y” route, and meet them on the other side.

Mason & Dillon ... still cool and energetic

As the sun rose higher, the mercury started climbing.  Too quickly.  The boys and I re-connected after their climb and stopped to refill water bottles, and take a few minutes in the shade and debating the route we would take back home.  Opted for the slightly longer, but gently rolling route, figuring we’d take it nice and easy in the intensifying heat.

stopping to refill the water bottles

... just too hot outside

Made it home, cooled off … and later headed into town (by car) on a few errands and a trip to the bike shop.  Just miserable to be out there, regardless.  Mason and I ended up with headaches, despite all efforts to rehydrate, etc.  We’ve all had enough heat for one day.

Thinking that while the temperatures are so stifling, we’ll need to come up with alternate strategies for longer rides … much, much earlier, or even into the evening with lights.  Or hauling the bikes up to northern Canada…. 😉  Or just sitting inside the dark, cool house, watching the Tour and imagining we are actually out riding (LOL).