With rainy weather and lower sun, the Sun Dragon has been needing external power. I don't think the 50 watt panel is going to be able to keep the system going through the winter, and will have to look into supplementary forms of power.
Annual visit to the Pumpkin Patch and Edwards Apple Orchard. Although I had started with a much larger group, many people had to cancel. In the end it was Noah, Maya, Steve, and myself.
Pictured is an adorable sleepy calf at the Pumpkin Patch. This little guy was so friendly and just wanted to be pet. Guess it tired him out, so he took a nap next to his chicken friend.
Skating tonight, and set a new record maximum heart rate of 190 BPM (103.8%). Like last week I found I was able to hold heart rates above 180 BPM (98.6%) for song length periods. Burned the first 1000 Calories in an hour an 10 minutes (3 minutes longer than last week), but burned 2000 Calories in two and a half hours. I ended up stopping about 15 minutes early because my left foot was sore, but I finished the night 2,153 Calories burned in 2 hours, 40 minutes.
After skating I went to with Liz to our favorite truck stop restaurant and ate everything. They have the worst coffee, and the largest portion sizes.
Decided to take a long bike ride today and set my first destination to Prairie Du Sac. I knew they had a couple of restaurants options I could sit for awhile, so I decided to bring my laptop. This would allow me to hang out and rest my back so I could do the next leg of the trip. For the return trip I would bike first to Mazomanie, and then follow a path to Black Earth, Cross Plains and finally back into Middleton.
For the trip to Prairie Du Sac, I plotted a route that would start out along highway 12, but I didn't want to stay on this any longer than necessary. Although there is a paved bike path along 12, it is still loud from all the traffic and a rather boring ride. So in Springfield Corners I turned off the bike path and began following Lodi Springfield Road. This goes through several names changes, but generally travels north west until just south of Fish Lake where it switches to running mostly west. This road eventually merges into highway 188 just on the east side of the Wisconsin River. That allowed me to travel north-north-west for a bit until highway 60, which has a bridge into Prairie Du Sac. This part of the trip was just over 21 miles, and with a 10 MPH wind from mainly from the west I completed this leg in just under an hour and 50 minutes.
After tying up my iron horse, had a dinner, and sat on my laptop for about an hour. Then it was time to head south into Sauk City to cross the other bridge over the river and start toward Mazomanie. This leg of the ride had most of the headwind. The winds were mostly out of the west, but a little from the south, and south west was the direction I was traveling. However, I was in no hurry. I would be biking through the Mazomanie Oak Barrens State Natural Area, and the hills with the partial color made this ride pleasant to traverse slowly. I snaked my way into Mazomanie using back roads and hoped to find a grocery store because I really wanted an apple. However, I only found a gas station and their apple selection was pathetic. I did pick up an all fruit juice drink and then got back on the road. This leg of the trip was just over 11 miles. From this point I was as far west as I would be going, and I would have a 10 MPH tailwind for the remainder of the trip. I biked by Lake Marion, but thought it interesting it was a field of thick grasses. I did not see any water at all, but there may have been some. Cycling south west, Black Earth came and went quickly, and soon I was heading mostly west toward Cross Plains. The tail wind must have been giving me a boost, but my phone battery was low so I kept the screen off so it could continue to log my trip which meant I couldn't see my speed. After 10 miles I was in Cross Plains so I stopped and got my apple. I would have taken a banana as well, but none were ripe.
By this point the sun was setting and daylight was fading quickly. So I switched on my lights to alert other drivers of my presents and continued on. The only real hill climb of the trip was coming up. This is a fairly steep section of Airport Road and a section I have always gone down in the past. I knew from the speeds I hit the climb had to be fairly steep. However, I put my bike into a low gear and kept a slow speed but steady torque. Once to the top the remainder of the ride would be mostly downhill. I knew from biking the other direction there was a long slow decent, so I could keep my torque where it was, use my tailwind, and really get moving.
I got into Middleton just around 6:15 pm, and by this time the sun was gone. I decided to stop at a local restaurant and get a slice of pumpkin pie, and the sprinted the last half mile back home.
The total for this trip, a personal record setting 51.6 miles over 4 hours, 25 minutes. It's estimated I burned almost 3,000 Calories, 1.25 times what I would typically burn in an entire day. While my back was a little sore, it wasn't overly so, and I feel like I handled this trip well.
Having moved the bar up, I now want to push my limits further. However, it is October. Today the high was 75 °F (23.9 °C) and unseasonably warm for this time of year. Tomorrow the temperature falls back to a high of 65, and then down into the mid 50s. There is a chance there will be an other warm day, but such occurrences are becoming quite rare this late in the season.
Today the weather went back to be very nice with the temperatures close to 70 °F (21.1 °C). This is about perfect for cycling, so I decided to bike out to Indian Lake County Park. There was a strong wind from the south west at about 15 MPH with higher gusts. I put on my audiobook and completed first 14.5 mile leg in an hour and 20 minutes. While there is fall color, there isn't too much yet. I went on a hike around the park for a bit and took a few pictures, then started back. The trip totaled 28.8 miles which included a 1.2 mile hike. I'm not sure how much longer I can expect nice days like this, but I will take them.
Last night was an other night of skating. I'm not sure if it was because I was rested, or because the temperatures have been chilly, but my performance was personally impressive. After warming up, I found myself holding a heart rate around 175 BPM (95.6%) without much push. When things sped up, I found my heart rate holding over 180 BPM (98%), sometimes around 185 (101.9%) and as high as 189 (103.3%). I burned through my first 1,000 Calories in 1 hour and 7 minutes which included the mandatory breaks when I couldn't skate. I completed by 2,000 Calorie burn with about 15 minutes of the session left. In total I burned 2,388 Calories in 2 hours and 53 minutes.