Yesterday was an interesting one. It was warm when we woke up, for June’s standards. Our longest day of the year, it was a balmy 64° when I rolled out of bed (early as usual). I’d picked my Trek for yesterday’s ride to give it a day in the sun and readied my our bikes when the time came at around 5am. We were rolling out at 7 to beat as much of the coming heat as we could.
We started out slow – and for once, I had no worries about pace. Only three showed. With my wife and I we had five and I’d planned on taking a lot of the headwind up front. I’ve grown to enjoy those days, actually, settling in for a five or six mile pull before making it back to the front after seven or eight more (Chuck took another five or more, Mike, my wife and Phill would take one or less, then it was my turn again). Once Chuck and I get done with the headwind the others take longer turns up front and we can relax a bit.
Our route yesterday, a fantastic ride down to Oak Grove, with a little ingenuity, was extended from its normal 47 miles to 60. I rode my cycling buddy, Mike home to make it 64 miles and some change. The ride was pre-loaded with headwind and after a few miles heading west, we got right into it. The wind, thankfully, was still on the gentle, enjoyable side so we made excellent time riding into it. With the temp in the mid-60’s (18 C), the cycling was absolutely perfect. It started out as one of those days where you’re simply thankful for being on the right side of the grass, pumping air. If ever there were a two-wheeled Hallmark ride, this was it.
At 22 miles, we were almost completely done with headwind. We had a few miles toward the end of the ride to contend with, but other than that it was cross and tailwind all the way home. And the temperature started climbing. 44 miles in, it was hot. We’d just stopped at a cyclist-friendly convenience store and I picked up an ice-cold Coke for my wife and I. It was nothing short of spectacular… and after ten miles, that and the gel I’d taken in were kicking in. I went from dragging a little to feeling fantastic. The rest of the ride was pure joy on two wheels.
After cleaning up, some lunch and a 20-minute nap, it was time to tackle the grass… thankfully, on a riding mower because my yard is WAY too big for a push-mower. The grass took a couple of hours.
After, with the yard looking fantastic, I had a creak to address in my wife’s bike. She had complained about it during our ride and I had no clue what I was getting into. I kept my tee-shirt on and donned an old pair of very nice Specialized RBX Pro shorts I keep in the drawer for trainer season. It only took a quarter mile to diagnose the problem; the seat post securing aperture. I took the bike into the house, removed the seat post, removed the securing mechanism, cleaned it, lubed the bolt and reinstalled it. Perfectly quiet… a new record.
My wife had taken the girls to the lake so I was on my own. I could have sat down on the couch and put my feet up but I was overcome with a desire to ride again. Tinkering on my wife’s bike set me off. I decided to take the Venge out for a parade lap around the neighborhood… and so it was. I didn’t even bother changing my shirt. I just popped on a helmet and rolled out. It took me seven miles to realize I’d walked out the door without my spare tire kit because I had no back pocket to put it in. And a parade lap it was. I was very tired and hot, but the ride was great fun. Another 13-1/2 miles in just shy of 50 minutes (I really took my time).
When I pulled into the driveway, I was ready done. Put a fork in me. 100+k bike, mow the lawn, and another 21 k’s, my first bikeathlawn.
Another shower, some dinner, and I was down for the count. I slept like a baby and dreamt of sunshine, carbon fiber and noodle salad.
It’s as good as it gets.
To all of the dads out there, happy Father’s Day! May your day be the best of days.