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Daily Archives: April 23, 2020

COVIDcation-2020: Beating the… SNOW?!

I was planning on riding at 1 yesterday afternoon… until I checked at 10 and the weather prognostication took a turn for the ridiculous.  Yesterday, the high for the day was supposed to be 48° (about 9 C).  If it made it over 36° (3 C) I’d be utterly amazed.  And the partly cloudy forecast with (late) pm showers turned to cloudy, then rain… then a chance of snow mixed in.

I decided I wasn’t going to mess around lest I get stuck in a snowstorm that was possible around 12:20 because, while it would have been easy to choose to ride with my wife on the trainer inside, we actually ran into a day with single-digit wind.  I simply had to ride outside.

I wanted to take the Venge, too.  I wanted to so bad, because it was going to have to be a fast ride and I wanted to take the fast bike.  I couldn’t do it, though.  The Venge doesn’t see rain, let alone a chance of snow.  I prepped the Trek to go and rolled out the door.

Two pedal strokes in and I was hammering for the halfway point.  I had most of the headwind at the beginning of the ride so I was trying to keep my pace up so I could have a decent average.  I’d been putting in a lot of “fluff miles” where I really wasn’t challenging myself and you always run the risk of slowing up to that easier pace (or at least I worry about that).  I plowed my way to 21-mph within a half-mile and held the pace.  I turned into the wind and managed to get to 20 where I kept it till I started up a tiny little incline and it zapped me a little.  Then I got into a mile-long stretch of the worst road in our county, before heading north again, and picking my pace up.

Five miles in, my pace had slipped and I felt like I was working way too hard for the pace I was managing (around 18-mph).  On the positive side, trying to keep a decent pace just above freezing is not easy for me.  No matter how perfectly I dress, it always takes between 1 and 1-1/2-mph out of me.  I did two laps in a small subdivision and halfway through the second, was thinking about a third (it’s a two-mile circuit), when I took notice of the graying sky.  I looked at the time on my Garmin… snow was due at 12:20 and it was only 11:40.  The sky was turning ugly, though.  Then the first flake fell.  I beat a retreat for home, the long way, and with a slight tailwind.

My ride got less ridiculous in a hurry and I made some progress on that average.  The last four miles were a mix of foul crosswind and a mile of tailwind and it was starting, ever so slowly, to snow.  I pushed those last few miles as hard as I could but I was starting to tire out.  I pulled into the driveway with an 18.3 average which, for all of the twists and turns in the route, with the cold, I was pretty happy with.

No question, though, I need some hard miles.  The easy miles are taking a toll I don’t want to pay.  And they won’t happen today.  We’ve got rain, sunup to sundown.