When last week started I hoped we would be able to ride a day, maybe two out of Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The weather service was calling for unseasonably warm weather but they’d mixed in a chance of rain for Saturday.
The first four days of the week were spent on the trainer. Nothing special, just 45 minutes a day, at 24-28 mph.
Friday turned out to be warm, up to 53° (11C) in the afternoon. I did 27 miles with my friends in the morning and 15 with Mrs. Bgddy in the afternoon. Saturday was still warm but the wind had picked up overnight. The first half of the ride, entirely into the wind, was almost comical. The ride home, however, was excellent. Thankfully we were on the tandem, too because while the tandem sucks on uphills, with a tailwind or into the wind, there’s nothing better. Then we woke up to a chilly but gloriously sunny Sunday start – and without wind. The temp had fallen, exactly as forecast to just below freezing. The sun warmed everything up quickly though, and we ended up with one of the best rides of the late fall/winter.
My wife and I decided a while back that we’d make a conscious effort to ride the tandem more often this year. We slacked off a little last year, but had a really good time when we did take it out. The trick is only taking the tandem on slower, base mile days because we tend to be a little slower on that than on single bikes. With the lack of wind, we headed northwest for the first half of the ride and let the wind push us home. We only averaged a little more than 17mph for the whole trip but the average didn’t fairly reflect our actual speed – I tend to be a little more careful at intersections when we’re on the tandem, so we’re naturally considerably slower at stop signs and lights.
Overall, it was one of, if not the best winter weekend I can remember spending on two wheels – and I’m here to tell you, if I hadn’t worked so hard on the trainer while hibernating, there’s no way I would have been in good enough shape to put in 100 miles over the last three days of the week.