It’s been cold in my neck of the woods and it doesn’t help that we ride early. Yesterday the cold finally broke, just in time…
My daughters are outside playing basketball, I’m dressed and sitting on the couch waiting for my wife to finish getting ready so we can head down to my mother’s house for Easter dinner. I feel awesome. We got back at about 11:30 from a perfect ride with many of my friends…
It was one of those cold mornings, it took ten minute of my car warming up to fight through the thick frost on my windshield. It was supposed to warm up quick though and with nary a cloud in the sky the quick warm up seemed plausible. I left a layer and a half off of my upper body and went with knee warmers and thermal tights on the lower half. I aired up the tires, filled the water bottles, loaded the bikes and packed my shoes, gloves and a cap to go under my helmet.
This photo was not taken yesterday, which explains why it is not sunny…
We arrived at the meeting spot, readied and headed out – five of us B guys, my wife (who is rapidly becoming a solid B) and Diane (on a tandem with Adam) and two of the A guys (and Dave’s wife with him on the tandem). Each one of us were stoked to be riding and the weather couldn’t have possibly been better – 40 degrees and rising, abundant sunshine and a mild single-digit breeze out of the south.
The pace was quite subdued, Dave and Craig were content to keep the pace reasonable to keep the group together and we just rode.
20 miles in and my wife and Matt were struggling staying connected to the group so I went back to help them. As is often the case, when I fall off the back, when I have a mile or three to ride at an easier pace, I recharge if you will. I was banking on that for my wife and Matt. My wife was game but every time I put the hammer down Matt would slip off the back. Simply put, I think Matt just doesn’t care about keeping up and holding a draft like I do. He knows the way back and he’ll get there when he gets there, and I respect that about him.
A mile later though, he was in so I set about trying to reel the group in without dropping my wife and friend. It went well at first, the group got closer, we gained almost half of the mile we were down back but it was an exercise in futility. I spent God only knows how many miles up front pulling, followed by a mile or two’s worth of rest before taking the lead again for several more miles.
We rolled into a small town store out in the middle of nowhere and the group was there waiting for us. I used the facilities, bought a Payday that I wasn’t going to eat and went outside to fire down a banana before rolling out. Total stop time was less than five minutes.
The rest of the ride was plain old awesome. I knew we only had 12 or so miles to go and we had a lot of helping wind. The pace was lively, halfway between 20 and 30 mph though we did top 29 for a goodly section (maybe three miles with a straight tailwind).
My wife and Matt were still with us turning onto the home stretch, just four miles to go. I was hurting, after the 44 miles the day before and I was awfully tempted to sit up and just let the big group go to ride back easy with my wife and Matt but I just couldn’t justify it. I stayed with the main group, took a turn up front and hammered it home.
37.84 miles, one hour, fifty three minutes and we pulled into the entrance to the parking lot. 20 mph average, give or take a tenth.
I ate a few nuts to tide me over until dinner at my mom’s house… It was a feast and I enjoyed every delectable bite. My wife and I curled up on my mom’s sofa afterwards and we took one exceptionally satisfying nap… before:
Yep, more carrot cake. Life is good. Thank God.