It is just about to start raining – 100% chance, it’s the calm before the storm. It won’t stop there, though. At some point that rain will turn to snow. We’re supposed to get less than an inch, but c’mon already. Tomorrow is supposed to be nice enough to ride, though. Snow in April isn’t unprecedented, but it is rare.
We knew this was coming so we packed as many miles as we could into yesterday. It was chilly and quite windy, but the sun was out in all its glory. It was close to freezing when we woke up but the temperature quickly rose to a balmy 40° (4 C) by 9am. The trick was the wind. Below 15-mph (24 km/h) is manageable, but the forecast called for 18-mph. Simple enough, but we also got gusts up to 32-mph (51 km/h). I wasn’t prepared for that.
Under perfectly sunny skies, the turnout for a Saturday morning was quite excellent – surprisingly good. We rode from my friend, Chuck’s house, so Mrs. Bgddy and I drove over… I love bonus miles, but not in that kind of blustery cold – and we’d have been dead into a headwind almost all the way to his house. We were just about set to roll when Winston called Chuck – he’d been riding down to meet us but, in his words, he’d calculated the extra time for his hangover into the time he left his house, but didn’t account for the hangover plus the headwind. He was running several minutes late.
We stood around until the shivering started. We decided to ride up to him, then we’d turn around and start the ride, proper.
And so it was. The first 25 miles were all into a headwind or cross-headwind. It was fun, even funny at times, though brutal. We just hunkered down, got in the drops, and pressed on. Once it started warming up, the wind wasn’t so horrible, too – and warm up it did. In fact, even before we turned to let the wind push us home, it got downright nice out. The sun was gloriously bright and the temp climbed to a point it was fun to ride – even into the wind. All of a sudden, a nice ride had broken out. After paying for it, the ride home with the tailwind was entirely enjoyable.
We got back to Chuck’s house with smiles on our faces and 44-1/4 miles under our early-season belts. We had some challenges on that ride, but we pulled together as a group to get through it and I left feeling that euphoric joy that we cyclists get to enjoy so often. The feeling lasted all day.
After a shower and some lunch, my wife and I laid down for a nap. After which, I had to run some errands that took me by the bike shop. As any enthusiast would, I stopped in to pick up my late-season tires and to say high to the crew. As I was looking around I noticed an older couple looking at cycling shorts and I overheard the wife ask if you wear underwear with them. I took overhearing the question as a sign and explained why commando is the way to go with cycling shorts. It turned out they had hybrids that they decided to dust off and ride so they had some questions. I did my best to answer all of them – including explaining why riding on the wrong side of the road is disastrously bad form, even downright dangerous.
There’s nothing like a good ride in the morning to get you into a mood to help some new folks into the sport. It was a good day, indeed.
And now it’s almost time to put some miles in on the hamster wheel…. ugh.