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Fall Colors Bike Ride

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

This is probably going to be my last road ride for the year more than likely considering my schedule and they way the weather is going to start turning. - freezing rain and snow by the weekend. November is too unpredictable and I am going home to NY anyway so that is out... usually snow on the ground by then. Today was the day to make it happen and boy was it a fantastic ride.

I had a general idea about how far I wanted to go but I always play that by ear since you dont really know until you are out there.

Here are the pics then I will briefly recap. It was so beautiful out there....
I rode from Marquette, MI to the outskirts of Munising, MI along M-28 and back to Marquette.

I started out the ride at a very easy pace for about 10 miles then began to pick it up. For the start my strategy was to go out at a super easy pace and conserve my energy. this was a test to see how I would do if everything was as good as it could be. most of the time Im dragging, just got off work, sluggish or whatever. Even then I seem to do pretty good.. 42 miles in 2:29 is good and so is 53 miles in 3:30 over some pretty gnarly hills. But it isnt as good as it could be since Im riding at a disadvantage of some sort.

This time, I was well rested, nutrition was up, and I hadn't done anything fitness crazy for at least 48 hrs ;)

Key points rather than bore with tons of details...
1) Pacing was PERFECT. When I finished, i was not at all sore or stiff and could have transitioned into a run without too much effort. I am still in good shape. for the first time, I could do a major effort and trot upstairs to take a shower and my legs STILL feel good at this writing. I have felt worse from 5K runs. I actually FEEL GOOD... very strange.. must research this closer to find out what the heck I did nutritionally etc...

2) Had to pay closer attention to safety this time. I hit the headwinds and crosswinds from HELL. They were coming off of Lake Superior at a good clip. Taking the downhills at breakneck speed in a crosswind like that makes a nut like me think twice. I still came off the hills pretty darn fast but I wasnt crazy enough to do it on the aero bars this time... I may be crazy but I'm not insane.

3) The cut off time for the Half Ironman bike is approximately 4 hrs 20 min for 56 miles. So far, all of my long rides this year have been well within the HIM cutoff. I truly feel that with continued weight loss and training, HIM will be mine. For those unfamiliar with the distances for a Half Iron distance triathlon, it is 1.2 mile swim, 56 miles on the bike then 13.1 miles on the run.

I am seriously considering the REV3 70.3 Triathlon in Wisconsin Dells in August, 11 2013. I have 9 more days to sign up to get the discount....

4) Total stats: 75.04 miles in 5 hrs 1 minute. 14.9 mph average speed, 34 mph max.
- my last ride was an average of 16.9mph but I didnt have the winds to deal with and I went 33 miles further so Ill take it and run with it.

Best of all, when I got back to the truck, there was an anonymous note under my wpier blade

It said Hey from a fellow 26.2 er, superglue dotted at the end or the beginning of a windshield crack will stop the crack. GO Swim, Bike,Run.

-yes my windshield has alot of cracks in it. That was SO cool to get that note. I'll never know who that was but if you read this, thanks :)

If you are going to do something...MAKE IT EPIC!

*** Yes there is a place called Christmas, MI... it is between Marquette, MI and Munising, MI. Pretty unique huh?

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
SWAZY33 10/4/2012 9:44AM

    Wow! It looked like such a beautiful ride! What inspiring scenery :) AWESOME job on that 75 miles!!

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LEB0401 10/4/2012 8:48AM

    Still all green and 85 here in Georgia. Can't wait to see the beautiful colors like you've captured here. Great blog!

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NYKIMMIE 10/4/2012 7:47AM

    emoticon looks beautiful!

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RUNNERRACHEL 10/3/2012 11:53PM

    What beautiful scenery! EPIC ride!! emoticon emoticon

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TALVARADO6 10/3/2012 9:03PM

    Hey, neighbor!! I never realized how close you are to me! I am a recent MTU grad, still living in the area.

Beautiful pictures! Gotta love the U.P. during this time of year. So perfect!

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MIPALADY23 10/3/2012 8:48PM

    Yeah!! From a Michigan chick!!

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MUSCLEADDICT32 10/3/2012 8:20PM

  emoticon YAY for you! You inspire me so much. Btw...I've been to Christmas Michigan.....Booooring!!!! Ha ha! It is pretty up there, though!

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FORBANDE 10/3/2012 7:57PM

    Awesome!! I love Ohio for the beautiful fall colors.

Way to go on your ride! I bet it's a bit sad to know that the colder weather is upon us and the bike rides will have to wait.

Register for the race. Have you ever regretted a race?? :)

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CLPURNELL 10/3/2012 6:19PM


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BLUE42DOWN 10/3/2012 5:39PM

    That not is just emoticon ! What an amazing thing to come back to at the end of the ride.

How did you stay focused on your ride with such gorgeous scenery? emoticon

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LIVEDAILY 10/3/2012 5:22PM

    Wow! You're really in the deep part of Fall...all the leaves have turned for you and have started to fall off the trees already!! Freezing rain and ice by the weekend?? Yikes! I'm in Northern NJ, and the leaves have JUST started to turn here. Lots of rain today and very humid. You go to New York for the winter?? Your ride was awesome!! I know it's not the same, but do you have a stand for the bike for inside training in the winter time? Will you be able to swim at the Y or a gym during the winter? Keep it up!!

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KBRADFORD88 10/3/2012 4:15PM

    To be able to go that far. I'm just at 14. Some day soon.

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LOGOULD 10/3/2012 3:55PM

    GORGEOUS pictures, Robert! The colors are remarkably beautiful this year, if not a little early. The scenery at the Fall Colors Run this past weekend were much better than previous years, and yesterday and today they are even better. Hope we have another good week and a half so that I can enjoy them one last time during the Cocoa 5K on the 13th. I'm sure they'll be gone for the Pumpkin 10K at the end of the month and most of my runs now, with the running group are at twilight and after and even with the headlamps, you don't get much of a look at colors...only shapes.

Cool note - don't you just love runners.....such a wonderful bunch. It must have something to do with the endorphins and the therapeutic effects of the sport that make runners a more caring and compassionate lot.

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BOILHAM 10/3/2012 3:48PM

    Great report. That HIM is going to be awesome! That sounds like quite a challenge. Good for you!!!

There is a Christmas, FL about 40 miles from my home. emoticon

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KA_JUN 10/3/2012 3:40PM

    Nice ride report, very cool note left on your windshield! emoticon

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BECCA315 10/3/2012 3:36PM

    The pics look like New England!!


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REVSERENA 10/3/2012 3:27PM

    Nice pics! Epic indeed!

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LINDAKAY228 10/3/2012 1:44PM

    SUch beautiful changing colors! Got you were able to get such a great ride in. I have cracks in my windshield too and am going to have to get some super glue! Thanks for passing on the tip.

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KATHY_NATURELVR 10/3/2012 1:37PM

    Ah Fall - we don't see much of that here in Florida. On that note - freezing rain and snow soon? OMG - we're still in the high 80's!!

And, there is a Christmas, Florida too - just about 20 miles from here.


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BUTTERFLY-1976 10/3/2012 1:25PM


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    emoticon emoticon emoticon

You did wonderful. Kudos to you! The pictures are BEAUTIFUL. No wonder you do not ride with music. With scenery like THAT...I would be in HEAVEN!!

On another note...the picture of the ocean/water...I would not be able to make it past there. I would HAVE to walk on the beach. Living where I live...I would die to see that.

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LYNSEY723 10/3/2012 11:53AM

    Those are some awesome pictures! I'm glad it was such a good last-ride-of-the-season for you!!

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GINA180847 10/3/2012 11:40AM

    Awesome pictures. You live in a beautiful area, similiar to to one I live in. This area is so gorgeous I sometimes get a lump in my throat. We traverse the same road each time we go somewhere and it is never tiresome. It always changes and usually we see wildlife. Sometimes it is bears or moose, deer but the other day it was a lonesome coyote. I know for most people that is not special but our town is inhabite by foxes so there are no coyotes around. Love kind notes from strangers! It reminds us most people are just like us struggling and trying to do good things.

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CHANGINGSAM 10/3/2012 11:30AM

    Gorgeous photos! Way to go on the time and mileage!

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RUNNER4LIFE08 10/3/2012 11:25AM

    What a great ride you had with all those fall colors! Bee-U-tiful!

Colors are changing like crazy here in central Minnesota. I need to get out and get some pics.

Even with the head winds (which you could tell by the pics) you still had a great ride. Way to go! And I bet that note made your day... very cool!

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    Robert you are doing awesome - have someone video tape the lovely scenery and play it on the TV while you are on the trainer this winter. Bike away my friend.

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LINDAK25 10/3/2012 11:21AM

    Beautiful pictures, but boy, with that wind it looks like it might have been cold! (I live in the South and anything under 60 degrees is really cold!) I love the pictures of the lake and the fall colors are pretty. Our trees are just starting to turn. I can't wait to see how my Autumn Blaze Maples do this year!

Terrific that you felt good after that long a ride at that speed! Good for you!

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 10/3/2012 10:52AM


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CHAOTICMOM4 10/3/2012 10:46AM

    Really pretty ride, thanks for taking us along. I love the note, fellow athletes can be so thoughtful!

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GOING-STRONG 10/3/2012 10:23AM


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SQUIRRELLYONE 10/3/2012 10:11AM

    They don't call it the inland sea for nothin'! The winds off Superior can be wicked. Glad you didn't get blown away!

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GARDENSFORLIFE 10/3/2012 10:07AM

    emoticon emoticon
Wonderful pictures! emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/3/2012 10:14:02 AM

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LOSING4LASTTIME 10/3/2012 10:06AM

    Looks like you had a beautiful ride. emoticon

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JENNNY135 10/3/2012 9:57AM

    Do it, sign up. Love the photos, Fall is such a gorgeous season.

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    These fall pictures are beautiful! You should definitely sign up for the REV3 70.3 Triathlon in Wisconsin Dells in 08/2013. You will be ready! Focus on weight loss this winter and then when spring hits your training will be even better. YOU CAN DO IT!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SPEEDYDOG 10/3/2012 9:28AM


I am in awe of your ride. 15 mph average for that distance on hills with wind is cooking along. What a great aerobic base you have.

Thanks, Bruce

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SKIRNIR 10/3/2012 9:19AM

    Beautiful photos of your ride. So far, I have not made it past 40 miles at one time on my bike. I am impressed with your rides.

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BILL60 10/3/2012 9:16AM

    Go ahead and sign up for the Tri. It'll give you purpose and focus. If you do, start now to plan your training. Look up Joe Friel's suggestions for training. BTW, great ride. Now, did you give me the "20" that you owed me?

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WONDERWOMAN 10/3/2012 9:15AM

    Great job again, Robert! Yesterday was gorgeous, wasn't it? I'm impressed you bike 28; it makes me nervous to drive it and come upon a rider. I am super cautious and slow down until I get a chance to give them a lot of room, but I see so many who don't. Be careful out there.

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COFFEELADY68 10/3/2012 9:07AM

    Thanks so much for sharing the beautiful pictures! What a fantastic ride that you had! Way to go!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 10/3/2012 8:49AM

    What a beautiful ride! Your time was pretty good too ; ) ROCK that HIM!!! DO IT!!!

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BUDRFLY31 10/3/2012 8:47AM

    Fun to read your blog! Thanks:)

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JPONCIN 10/3/2012 8:43AM

  LOVE!!! Great ride! :D

I definitely plan my rides around wind speed/direction. This is one of my favorite weather websites that I got, from one of my science professors:


Don't put your bike away, because you never know when Mother Nature will grace you with a perfect day for winter riding. Seriously. It can happen. :)

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KATHIC2 10/3/2012 8:27AM

  Epic ride. Great pictures...what a beautiful area! Pick your Ironman!

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JENNAAW 10/3/2012 8:23AM

    I pass your area every summer; this is the first time I have seen fall pics. Breathless!!! Thanks for sharing.

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KIPPER15 10/3/2012 8:13AM

    Great ride, lovely pics, I love to visit Christmas when I am in the U.P. emoticon I like to go the the "Big Spring" this time of year. It's beautiful.

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ROXYZMOM 10/3/2012 8:13AM

    Very cool! Awesome pictures! Thanks for sharing. I can see why you enjoyed it so much.

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LMULLINS4LIFE 10/3/2012 8:05AM

    Glad you had a good ride.

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AUTUMNBRZ 10/3/2012 7:21AM

    Awesome ride, GORGEOUS pictures, Christmas town and what a cool note!

Can you say perfect ride? :)

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MEREDITHB51 10/3/2012 6:59AM

    Thanks for the post. I felt like I went along for the ride!

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