42 Degrees Fahrenheit (3-ish C), mostly sunny (or at least clear, the sun was still coming up) and a breeze under 5 mph, on a Sunday morning so traffic in our neck of the woods is practically nonexistent.
I made the mistake of thinking my wife didn’t want to go so she ended up being a little late getting ready but we were both waiting at the corner when Mike and Matt crested the small molehill a half-mile from where we were waiting.
I had two Gu’s, one bottle filled with Gatorade, twenty bucks in my back pocket tool bag and no clue how far we were going or how fast we’d get there.
42 calls for wool socks, toe covers, leg warmers, compression shorts (that extra layer, though technically a no-no, makes the cold much more bearable), cycling shorts, a light base layer, my new Specialized Therminal long-sleeved jersey, a neck gaiter, my Headsweats beanie, full fingered gloves and my helmet. Simple, easy, awesome and absolutely perfect. Not too cool, not too warm.
I can remember not too long ago, when I wouldn’t ride if it was colder out than 55 degrees. I can’t tell you how surprising and awesome it has been to learn just how cold it can get and how a few key items can keep me comfortable, happy and pedaling hard.
My wife split off after twelve and a half miles to head back and spend time with her dad while he’s in town and staying at our house. We rolled on unperturbed by the few cars on the road.
My bike is rolling so nice lately. Smooth, quiet as a field mouse, and fast – a well oiled (lubricated – no self-respecting high-end bike owner uses oil anymore) machine.
Rather than a pre-planned route, we simply followed our noses, deciding to see how far we could take roads that we rarely ride. It made for a fantastic time.
I had a Gu, Jet Blackberry, about 25 miles in and only bothered sipping on my Gatorade, another benefit of riding when the temp drops. We ended up on part of the Tuesday night route, and thanks to my wife choosing north instead of south, we had the mild breeze to push us home.
43 miles done, a smile plastered across my face for every one, I pulled into my driveway, wishing we had just ten more miles to go…
I love that about cycling lately. With the exception of centuries, which I’m more than glad to be done with at the time, I’m almost always bummed when a ride is done. This one was no different. I could have kept going, of course, but I have other things to tend to.
It’s good to be me. Happy Sunday everyone.