We had another summer-like day yesterday. Warm, beautiful, and shorts-worthy. As is normally the case in the spring, if it’s warm, there’s a chance of a shower. The chance never materialized and I knew I was riding at 5pm – and I was pretty sure my buddy, Chuck would be home in time.
I readied my bike, dressed and rolled eight minutes early, heading toward Chuck’s house, hunting for bonus miles. A quarter-mile up, here comes Chuck over the horizon to dash my hope of a couple of extra miles.
When Chuck turned around to join me, one of two things was going to happen:
- Chuck was going to be as hit as I was and we were going to ride easy.
- Chuck and I were going to start out easy and a real ride was going to break out.
The latter happens every time. Without fail. Even though I was on the Trek, I was ready for it.
Chuck pulled even with me and said, “I’m beat from last night, you mind taking it easy?”
Music to my ears, and easy it was. Well, relatively. We had some ugly headwind to deal with starting on mile two. We made the left heading west, and BOOM, it smacked us right in the face. 15 mph was work into the 20+ mph wind with gusts up to 30.
Chuck took the first mile at 16-mph, I took the second at 17. We rolled north next, with the wind pushing us to the ditch. That mile was done just north of 19-mph. Another headwind mile at 17-ish. A jog north, and another mile into the wind… a quick loop around a subdivision, a mile south and we were into our first tailwind. We were sitting up, hands on bar tops, talking, at 25-mph. It was fun.
Another mile north and we had a nice tailwind section, maybe two miles and some change. A couple of miles south followed by another tailwind mile and we were on the home stretch. I pulled into the driveway with a 16.9-mph average.
I have this constant push-pull between riding hard and taking my easy days. On one hand, junk miles produce junk results. On the other, those days where I can take a minute to look around sure make for a fun evening on the bike.