Sadly, my cycling brother down in New Zealand is just having to dust off the arm and leg warmers. We’re just getting to a point we can finally think about leaving them in the drawer every once in a while.
Tuesday night’s club ride was a wind-driven sufferfest from the parking lot. In fact, that’s where I was dropped. In the frickin’ parking lot. Now, to be fair, that was the first time I wasn’t paying attention when the group left and I struggled to catch up. Six of us were caught at the back of the parking lot as the group pulled out. We took off immediately to chase them down but once we hit the headwind I simply couldn’t reel the lead group in – and after a half-mile in a 20-mph headwind at 20+ mph, I flicked out for the next guy to take a turn and he promptly dropped down to 17. That effectively ended out chances of catching the group right there. I tried one more time to bridge the quarter-mile gap but I didn’t make up much ground and I would have been out of gas even if I had caught the lead group. The six of us went on to have an enjoyable cruise, if it was a ton of work in the wind. That kind of gnarly windy ride is normal for this time of year in Michigan – April is a wet and windy month for us.
Contrast that mess with yesterday’s ride. The wind was so calm I couldn’t tell which direction the wind was even coming from – and I pulled for 22 miles out of the 22.75-mile route. Chuck found he’d gotten a flat when he went to get his road bike ready so he was relegated to riding his gravel bike because he didn’t want to make us any later than we already were. I felt sorry for the poor fella, I was on the Venge, so I pulled for almost the entire time. It was an easy, fun-paced ride, too. One that made me grateful for being on the right side of the grass, pumping air. There’s nothing better than a great bike and having an hour to blow off some steam to clear the mind.
As one would expect, I slept like a baby last night. It’s as good as it gets.