I knew exactly what we were getting into this morning – we planned our ride out so that as the wind got stronger, we’d be heading home with it at our backs… And it actually worked!
That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, for once the weather report was perfect.
We headed out at 9:30 with clear, sunny skies, temps just below freezing but rising, and mild winds at about 10 mph. We headed out directly into the wind – three guys who rode Barry-Roubaix yesterday, me, Mike, Matt and Phil. Dave, one of the guys who did B-R, was on his tandem with his wife (thank you for the shelter Dave and Sherry).
I was feeling surprisingly fantastic heading out and worked myself up the the front a few times but once I got to second or third bike it got tough hanging out with the horses who’d pull for two or three miles at a time. Mercifully, Phil did a spin class yesterday that had him pretty worn down so he had a tough time holding on in the wind. We had to wait for him a few times.
Somewhere around the 18 mile mark, Mike and I decided to drop from the big dogs, even though we both felt good enough to hang, to help Phil and Matt home. That turned out to be a fantastic decision. It meant Mike and I were in for some work as we’d be the only two pulling for the next 20 miles but we’d be at a pace that would make trudging through the wind livable.
Right on cue, the wind picked up from 15 mph to a sustained 20 with gusts up to 30… And we were heading back. We were laughing, Mike and I, taking 3-4 mile pulls at 25 mph, soft-pedaling so Phil could hang. Temps were already approaching the 40 degree mark and it felt like a heat wave.
We ended up with just over 37-1/2 miles in a little over two hours and it was my most enjoyable ride so far this year. Go figure, it should have sucked. The wind should have been a pain in the ass and pulled the joy right out of me… Not today though. Even with all of the work, I finished the ride with a smile on my face and an immense amount of gratitude for my Venge (and for taking the time to get used to riding in such an aggressive position on my bike). Having ridden a little more upright for so long on the Trek, I can really appreciate being able to cut into the wind so well. Honest to God, it’s badass. Now it’s nap time… After finishing my chocolate cherry smoothie:
Yes, it tastes way better than it looks.
568 miles for the month, a little light this week at 126, but I can live with that.