The weather took a turn shortly after noon on Friday. Rain turned to a mix, turned to straight snow. Fortunately, the ride home wasn’t too bad. Friday is a bowling night, anyway. We woke up to icy, dangerous roads on Saturday. My wife and I put our time in on the trainer.
Sunday looked promising, though. Cold, but it was supposed to warm up under sunny skies. I waited to see the hourly temp pass freezing and texted my friends that I would ride at 11, for anyone who wanted to show up.
I felt fairly confident I would ride alone. 11 is too late in the day for most of my friends. A few hours later, McMike texted to let me know he’d be there. Ruh roh, Raggy. Mike is pretty good at being cool, though. I didn’t worry too much.
Sunday morning rolled around and after an amazing night of sleep, I doubted the weather report’s promise of a warm up. I cleaned my chain and got the Trek ready, anyway. I got dressed…
Then Pickett showed up and $#!+ got real. Pickett has one gear, and it’s a fast one. You put Pickett and McMike together, and fast happens all on its own.
Mrs. Bgddy gave me a surprising pat on the ass and said not to sweat it, that I was rock solid in my training this year.
Then my buddy, Mike rolled up. That would keep Pickett and McMike tame for a minute. Maybe two.
I hit the go button on my Garmin (that’s so much better than fumbling with my damned phone to get Strava going) and we rolled out.
The sun was shining with an easy breeze out of the southwest and it was a balmy 33° (1 C). We were all headwind for the first half and we were still getting our “in traffic” legs so were a little too far to the right, especially with the wind on our left shoulders. Mike was off the back before we hit three miles. I went back to get him while McMike and Pickett held up.
Mike said he was going to head home once we got to Gaines so we took it easy, changed the route and stayed with him. Once he was off, we were on. The pace picked up in a hurry, but on lesser traveled roads, we were lined up in a proper echelon. It was tough out front, but the recovery at the back was good.
I struggled every time I got to the front – I’d be good for half to three-quarters of a mile but 18-20-mph was pretty tough into the wind. I run into the same thing every spring. It takes me a couple of weeks to get my lungs back.
Then we turned around and had the wind at our back. I took the first pull and went for miles at 23 to 26-mph. Then McMike took over, then Pickett. North was a lot easier than East, which was really surprising. The wind was supposed to be west-southwest.
I’d expected to run out of gas, for Pickett and McMike to run me down. It never happened, though. I took a couple of shorter pulls to keep from blowing up, but I stuck it out.
We ended up with a 19-mph average. Which, when you consider the temperature, the into the wind, slow start… well, with all of that it was quite good.
I felt like a Hundred Dollars after I’d showered up and had some lunch.