My ride started at 11:30 with my lovely wife. I’d made up my mind early that I was going to pull the entire first half into the wind. Every last mile. And so it was. Eighteen straight miles into an 18-mph headwind or cross-headwind.
The sun made a brilliant appearance and the temperature finally normalized a bit. It was almost 50° (10 C) so I didn’t mind the wind one bit. I put it in the baby ring and held a pace my wife could handle and into the wind we went. The whole thing was a slog, but I’ve resigned myself to it and once I made my peace, I was just happy to be out in the sunshine after four days of wet, cold, windy crap weather.
We hit the tailwind section and, to my chagrin, Mrs. Bgddy was in no mood to push it. I tried to contain my disappointment but I don’t think I did a very good job. Then I started thinking that she’s probably struggling a lot with her breathing, so I just set in behind her and let her control the pace (she’s faster by 1-3-mph when she’s up front and can control the pace). I didn’t have near the trouble she is experiencing with the bug and it was awesome to not be riding alone, so I just relaxed and let the ride happen.
We got home after 36 miles and I tinkered with a pedal issue (more on that in a later post) and had to choose between the Trek or Venge… Let’s see, 18-mph headwind and crosswind… and I wanted to get another 27 miles to make it a 100 k… no help with the headwind… Yeah, that’s a no brainer. I put the Trek back inside and rolled out.
I started off with a cross-tailwind for a mile before getting smacked in the face with the headwind. After a ten-mile easy ride with the tailwind, it’s a little tough to adjust to eating wind again. Still, sunshine and 50+° was feeling quite awesome.
I did four two-mile bonus laps in a subdivision that was surprisingly fun… I’d have a half-mile of broken up headwind with a mile of cross and a half-mile of tailwind each lap. It was easy to break it down into bite-size pieces of headwind suck. And I needed the extra two miles per lap if I was going to hit 62.4 miles. On the third lap I started to feel the rumblings of an empty tank. I almost went for my emergency gel, but kept it in my pocket. I’d have a lot of tailwind and a little bit of cross on the way home – and supper. Better to earn the dinner and enjoy it, I figured.
So coming into town, there’s a sweeping downhill with a light at the bottom. With a tailwind, like the one I had, you can really get moving and hold that speed on the flat for most of a mile. Sadly, it changed to yellow, forcing me to grab a handful of brake to stop. Up rolled an Audi to my left. When the light turned, I decided to take the acceleration slow but noticed the Audi stayed with me. He should have been gone, so I naturally assumed he wanted to see how fast I’d go, and I showed him. I started hammering the crank arms and took it from an easy 22 to 31. I noticed the passenger had rolled down his window and he yelled out, “Twenty-six miles an hour!” I looked down at my Garmin and responded, “Thirty-one” just as I heard the driver say, “No, he’s over thirty, man”. Where’s a cop with a speeding ticket when you want one! And that’s about the time I dialed it back because that’s stinkin’ fast on the flat 55 miles into a ride – even with a tailwind.
I finished off the ride having misjudged the mileage home (cycling brain got me) so I had to add on a mile-and-a-half just before rolling home. I did, though, and pulled into my driveway with 62.47 miles. A little more than just enough.
Dinner was extra good last night. We had to cook up the last of our Easter ham, so we made “Hambrosias”; fried ham, sauteed onions, and pineapple in a brioche bun with a little mayo and Big John’s steak sauce.
I’m feeling it this morning, though. Those 100k rides are a hell of a lot easier when we’ve got a twelve-person train to draft behind! We’ll have to see what today holds. It’ll be another windy one, but at least it’ll be warm(ish) again. I don’t think I’ll have another 100k in me… but 50 might be doable.
One thing is unquestionable through this COVID-19 mess; I miss my friends. Riding with my wife has been awesome and we don’t spend enough time riding together under normal circumstances. There’s just something about riding with a big group that puts a smile on my face, though.
Ah well. Soon enough. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read.