I went out for my daily ride yesterday and it was eventful for several reasons… First of all, we’re just getting into an excellent weather pattern here in Michigan. The temp was around 72 and sunny yesterday, today is supposed to be a little cooler at 65 with a chance of some drizzle, but after today it’s supposed to be fair to slightly awesome – temps in the 70’s and sunny as far as the eye can see. Since that very early spring we had in March, where temps were in the 80’s, it’s been rather hit and miss since and it was starting to get a little old. It was nice to get out in shorts and jersey only.
Second, since I started in with the longer rides – 35.5 at least once a week, 38 miles every other Tuesday, the 63 I did last a couple of weeks ago as examples – I decided that my normal 16 mile route is just a little too short for everyday rides now (just last fall, 13.5 was my normal ride and my longest were in the 26 mile neighborhood). I’ll still keep that route handy for short days where I’ve gotta squeeze in a sub 50 minute ride, but I decided to broaden my horizons just a little bit… I picked out a new handy-dandy 25 mile route. While there’s a lot less traffic on the route, it is faster moving traffic (55 mph as opposed to 45) but I’ve only got one left turn on the whole ride and it actually cuts my stop light encounters in half… Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how I want to look at that), the longest straightaway stretch heads due west – six miles directly into the prevailing wind followed by another five into a cross/head wind. Yesterday’s wind was pretty rough and I actually contemplated running the route in reverse – even with all of the left turns – but in the end I decided against that, figuring I’d get a better workout trying to keep my speed up into the wind. I wasn’t disappointed, and I still managed a 19 mph average overall.
The fun part of the ride started right at the 18 mile mark when I turned heading east. With a decent tailwind, I was able to keep up with traffic in the 30 mph zone through downtown Swartz Creek and actually passed a couple of cars. While it’s obviously quite dangerous and I have to watch my surroundings closely, nothing quite puts a smile on my face like passing a car while I’m in the bike lane.
I hit the main three zones on the ride last night and ended up having a blast – even if that 11 mile stretch was a little rough.