Saturday was one of those gloriously sunny days that make a cyclist smile. We had a solid west wind so we chose to fight it all the way out and ride it back. Now, any avid cyclist who’s tried this will tell you the wind shifted on them about two miles after the turn for home. That’s just how it goes. Always.
Not this time, baby.
We went 23 miles, dead into the wind, before turning for home… the long way home. On the way out, I tried to take a lot of miles because I knew the ride home was going to be fun. The last four miles into the wind were mine.
For this route, we stop at a gas station in town before heading back and I chose my favorite, a Vanilla Orange Coke and a Twix White Chocolate. The Twix was really good, but the OV Coke… it’s heaven on Earth. We rolled out after a quick ten-ish minute stop.
The ride home was an absolute blast. Tailwind, with a little crosswind, all the way home. Our average jumped a mile-and-a-half an hour and we went from quiet effort to laughing and talking the whole way home. We ended up with just shy of 53 fantastic miles.
Sunday was a different story altogether. The weather prognosticator of choice was all over the place. Rain in the morning, rain in the afternoon, rain in the early morning, ending by 2am, then picking up again… my text to the gang was simply, “we’ll have to play it by ear”.
I woke up at 4am and the app said later in the early afternoon we would have a chance to ride. It changed just before 6am. I sent out a text that wheeis were rolling at 8. We had a 3-1/2 hour window and we had the 56-mile Cohoctah loop on tap. And nobody showed but my buddy, Mike.
The start was hectic and a bit slow. Mike was up front for three miles and we were pushing a 16-1/2 mph average… but Mrs. Bgddy caught us at mile two. She decided to join Mike and I for a few miles before spending time with her dad. I took the next five miles up front, taking it fairly easy into a cross-headwind at 18-1/2-mph because my wife was on her gravel bike – more than 18-ish would have been brutal for her.
My wife announced she was heading back for home as we turned south. We caught Greg, who texted earlier that he might roll with us at 17-ish-mph and that was the last time we were that slow without a stop sign. Greg opened it up and took the pace to 22 in a tough cross-headwind. After three miles, Mike called uncle. Literally, he called uncle… and I wasn’t bummed he did. I could have held Greg’s wheel but it was gonna hurt at that pace. We ate wind to mile 28, when our fortunes turned and the pace picked up. Greg split at 37 miles for home. Mike and I rolled on for our homes, 19 miles away. Thankful we could relax a bit. Or so I thought.
A mile later, something caught my attention over my right shoulder. Clouds. Gnarly one’s. We had rain coming in, and with and hour to get home, it was going to be close. I thought we would he on the losing end, being honest.
Heads down, in the drops, we hammered for home.
It started sprinkling two miles later. Five miles later it started coming down a little harder. Not enough to call it rain but it was getting close.
Mike and I traded places at the front every couple of miles. We were making some decent time, too. A 21-mph mile, 20.8, 22… 21.3, 22.8… We were starting to get damp, too. Mike said he was going to take a shortcut to get home a little sooner. I didn’t blame him. It was really starting to look like we’d get pounded.
As soon as he split, I put the hammer down, heading north. And rode right out of the drizzle! I sat up a couple of times to catch my breath but got right back after it. I didn’t want to squander getting out of the drizzle, and the horizon to my right was not good, even if the sun poked through the clouds now and again.
I pulled into the driveway, dismounted, and got my butt in the house. Two minutes later, no exaggeration, the sky opened up.
Just in the nick of time. Lunch was sweet. And my nap was even sweeter. Nothing beats beating the rain. Thankfully, Mike had the same good fortune.