Keeping an eye on the Weather Channel all day long, it looked like we were going to ride a razor’s edge trying to fit in one more night ride before the weather turned poor. All day long, the rain line jockeyed between 6 and 7 pm… and then, around 3 in the afternoon, the line was pushed back to 8 pm.
Chuck and I had been texting back and forth all day long. I shot a quick text to Jonathan that we were riding at 5 – a little earlier than usual, just to make sure we wouldn’t get wet. The text between Jonathan didn’t mention “rain” or “wet” or even cloudy… that poor guy has absolutely the WORST luck when it comes to having to choose to ride in the rain or inside on the trainer over the last three months. I wasn’t about to tempt fate last night.
We started out fast and stayed fast until I ran out of gas around 14 miles in. I was starting to get hungry. We sat up for a minute but picked the pace back up again (my fault) as we headed for our next turn… and then, muck. It looked like the grater had gone through, maybe a day earlier. The mud on the road was an inch, to six inches deep (15 cm). We made it about 50 yards – I almost fell over twice – and decided to turn around and head back on the road we’d been on. That cut a bunch of miles off our ride, though, so we talked about how to add on at the end, on paved roads.
The pace on the dirt was between 16 & 20-mph, but picked up to north of 20 on the pavement. We were cruising heading west, but when we turned to head home, I found out why; the wind had picked up and was pushing us. When we headed back the other way, it was a bull-rush right in the face. I thought I was doing pretty well at about 18-mph, but Chuck came by and took the pace back up over 20 – and I was perfectly fine with that three bikes back.
We ended up pulling into the driveway with 23-1/2 miles and just a shade better than a 16-mph pace… and yet another occasion to clean the gravel bike. It was mucked up, but good. I even had to pull the cassette.
Well, there won’t be any riding outdoors today as there’s a rain storm parked over the State, but we’ll be out on the paved roads tomorrow morning. Friday, too.
And then, winter.