I’ve showered, dressed and eaten. My jacket, shoes, gloves, shades and on board fuel are laid out with care, waiting to go.
It’s just starting to lighten up – I can see about 50 yards out. The temp is a balmy 39 degrees (that’s Fahrenheit, not Celcius) and won’t be better than 65 by the time I get back. It’s going to be a cool day, lots of sun.
We scoped out my run on the way in yesterday – 80% of the 22 mile ride to the Pere Marquette rail trail is beautiful rolling hills with wide shoulders. It’s that last 20% that has me as nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs. No shoulders and pot holes everywhere, and a regularly exceeded 55 mph speed limit.
There will be climbing today, a lot of it. My main challenger in the National Bike Challenge followed his pattern and took yesterday off, I’ve got him by 37 points. This is a good and a bad thing – good because he won’t catch me unless he puts in huge miles today and tomorrow. Bad because I won’t have the same motivation to put in those last few miles before turning around as if he were right on my heels.
I’ll find something.
The plan is for a slow, easy ride to the trail, 17 mph average, followed by 60 hard miles on the trail, then another easy 22 back. We’ll see. I don’t normally stay slow with any regularity.
It’s 7:47, 43 minutes to go. The temp just dropped 2 degrees as it normally does at day break. Time to load up, pump the tires, and set out on another long ride solo adventure. Nobody but myself to rely on for 100+ miles – nobody but me, and really good equipment I should add…
10, 9, 8….