Damn it was hot last night. Mid 90’s, a ton of humidity, and 15-20 mph winds that felt more like a blast furnace hitting us in the face. Still, beats polishing the couch with my butt.
We rolled out at 5:15 for the warm-up. That’s funny now that I write it. I was sweating exactly twelve seconds after exiting my air conditioned SUV. We took it slow, with a gnarly cross-headwind. Three miles later we were rocketing up the road with laughable ease… soft pedaling at 25 mph… uphill (technically it’s not a hill in the cycling sense of the word, but it’s pretty close).
The one problem riding with the wind. At least in a crosswind the wind provided a little comfort. With a tailwind it was just unbearably hot. It was a cotton mouth day.
The ride was rough. With storms on the horizon, after two miles in a crosswind we headed north with a tailwind, at 29 mph .. soft pedaling. Well you can imagine what happened when we made a sharp lefthand, 120-140 degree turn. Four of us managed to keep the pace between 19.5 and 20.5 mph but it was tough sledding for sure.
And that’s when my buddy, Mike dropped off the back. I didn’t notice when he’d gone but when we made our final right turn with headwind, right before the hills and with some ugly clouds on the horizon, I pulled out of the pace line and headed back to help Mike.
I passed a few other stragglers before I saw him come over a rise. I turned around and took the lead. I pulled him back the whole way – eleven miles, and at a pace that he could manage.
Mike said to me a few times that I should have stayed with the group and finished the long ride, and he was right. Every now and again though, a fella needs a little help from his friends. My friend needed mine last night, so I ended up with 30 on the night instead of 37, and averaged 19 mph rather than 21.
I also ended up a lot happier, helping a friend through a tough spot. Because that’s what we do.