With our normal Horsey Hundred plans scrapped, we’ve made the most of what we had, locally. “Up north” was opened up at the last minute so everybody and their brother headed that way, presumably to get a haircut (kidding). That’s left an interesting scene here at home; COVIDcation traffic was minimal before. Now it’s a ghost town and we cyclists are taking every advantage.
Saturday, as it normally is over the Memorial Day weekend, was the big mileage day. I ended up with 104-1/2 miles on the day which is close to the norm in Kentucky.
Yesterday was the tough day. The day after my first hundred of the year is always rough for me. It doesn’t matter how many days in a row I’ve got under my belt, it doesn’t matter how many back-to-back hard days I do, that second day after a century… it takes me forever to get warmed up. Then, it seems as soon as I finally get loosened up, I tire out.
Such was the case yesterday. We’d planned a 35-mile route but had to add nine miles to avoid road construction. It was wet out to start. Thunderstorms rolled through early but the forecast was favorable after… and hot.
Normal temps for this time of year are around 75 (24 C) but we quickly jumped north of that to the mid 80’s (29 C)… Even with the heat the ride was going well and I was having fun… until we hit a freshly chip-sealed road done just the day before. We had to stay directly in the wheel tracks or the gravel was too loose and the bike would get squirrely. Then, because everything in the shade was still wet, I managed to pick up a little piece of gravel that must have had eyes and landed squarely between my bottom bracket and crank arm. It caused a marvelous “tick…tick…tick” every turn of the crank. One tick per revolution and it drove me nuts.
After a bit, the ticking subsided a bit and only showed up when I put big power to the pedals. Mildly annoying, but there are worse problems in the world. Immediately after the chip-seal ended and we were on decent road again, I wiped my tires and found a pebble had embedded itself into my rear tire. I stopped to dig it out, quickly, and caught back up to our small rabble. My wife and Mike had dropped off early to head back home. Mike had a cassette loose and was beat from Saturday’s ride. Mrs. Bgddy went with him so she could be fresh for today’s ride, so that left four of us. Big Joe split off to take a shortcut home and that left three off us.
Heading west with a healthy crosswind, I started feeling the cumulative effects of the miles. Since leaving everyone else, we’d picked the pace up considerably. Chuck split off for home and it was down to the other Chuck and me.
With five miles of tailwind we kept the pace lively but didn’t push it at all. Even so, with four miles to go, I was pretty much done and we had two of those miles into a headwind. Fortunately, neither of us cared about pace so we just sat up and took the wind as it was.
I won’t lie… I was happy to get off the bike yesterday. I was cooked.
And we’ll be doing it all over again today, only longer.