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The perfect Sunday for a fall ride…

October 2015
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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.

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11 Comments

  1. bonnev659 says:

    It was in the upper 40’s and I did not use toe covers. But I will be using them soon, and also full finger gloves. Man I forgot how bad it gets downhill into a headwind for the hands.

    and I hope you enjoy this great weather. It was raining here so I am waiting to ride today to this evening (testing out new front light too). Happy riding

    • bonnev659 says:

      what do you normally drink once it gets in the 40’s? I was told to put some Nu in but I normally use Skratch labs? also told to put a drop of high % adult beverage too might work too. thanks

      • bgddyjim says:

        Well, being a recovering alcoholic, the liquor is out, even a drop is too much. For fall, we also dial the intensity way back so I take either straight water or Gatorade… I do like Nuun tablets now and again though.

      • bonnev659 says:

        okay cool, I normally use Skratch Labs if anything on longer rides or water. I just do not want to try to open up the bottle and it is frozen even thou I have insulated bottles

      • bgddyjim says:

        Perpetuem, by Hammer, stays liquid a little longer than plain water… other than that, I don’t worry about it much.

    • bgddyjim says:

      Soon as it drops below 60 I put the toe covers on and leave them. Below 50, I pull out the wool socks. Same idea with the hands… nothing makes me regret clothing choices like cold fingers and toes.

      • bonnev659 says:

        haven’t done the wool socks yet… but soon. also looking at new winter bibs soon (I want to ride as much outside before salt is on the roads)

  2. Dan says:

    Your ride reports are always so good and really make me want to get back out there! I think I’ll try it tomorrow!

  3. Kecia says:

    We rode too! It was 62F here, not a cloud in the sky and very little wind…PERFECT day for riding 🙂 Glad you got out to enjoy this amazing fall weather we are having! It would be nice if the weather stays like this 😉

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