I clipped in, right first, push off, left, and rolled out. I was in Funkier bibs and my Assenmacher jersey, just barely warm enough to justify the getup. The clouds had rolled in hours ago and the wind was… incessant, and from the south.
I let the wind push me north, slowly picking up speed till I hit my first turn to head east. East sucked, wind out of the southeast. I bent my arms to lower my shoulders and head and casually spun into it. With the big ride on Tuesday, I actually had a goal with this ride and average pace wasn’t it.
Still early, I passed Chuck’s street to get an extra couple miles. It wasn’t looking too promising with the mounting cloud cover. I turned south and hit the real wind. And fresh chip-seal, still with gravel piled in the center of each lane and the middle of the road… half a mile, I gave up and carefully turned around. Heading north and west were much better.
I pulled into Chuck’s driveway just as he was coming out of the house. We rolled out. We had a nice crossing tailwind and talked about current events. Three miles later we were headed north and it started spitting on us… the old Michigan curse: 19% chance of rain means a 100% chance of being 19% wet.
Still, it wasn’t all that bad, so we pedaled on… 5% wet. A loop through a small subdivision for an extra mile and back north… 10% wet, and that’s when I saw what was coming. I looked for hope of a quick shower and respite. There was none. We were getting wet.
I told Chuck what was coming but we decided to ride it out a minute… more tailwind. Two minutes later, “spitting” became constant drizzle. 20% wet. A quarter-mile later, I threw in the towel. I told Chuck I was taking my toy home. He said he was going to ride it out.
It got dark in a hurry and I ground it out into the cross headwind, keeping my pace around 20. 30% wet. I concentrated on my pedal stroke, getting the most out of each revolution, while taking care to keep it right on the edge without going over. The pavement was wet, as was I. I tried not to think about the five miles ahead, all headwind.
Then south. 40% wet. It wasn’t so bad at first. I managed to get the pace up to 19 before a gust hit me, kicking me back to reality. 16-mph, then 17… 50%.
I turned east to dry pavement and the rain slowed to a spit… before picking up. Again, concentrating on the pedal stroke. Powering to the ground and around… 20-mph… and spitting became rain.
I pulled into the driveway after the hard grind into the wind and unclipped. Not drenched, but far from dry. I spent the next 20 minutes cleaning and drying my bike.
My wife was out and my eldest at the gym. Swimming practice had been canceled for the storms and my youngest left for a 4-mile run. I showered and readied my supper, a leftover burger from Saturday’s cookout.
Then, Star Wars The Last Jedi and sleep. I was out like a light, dreaming about drier days on two wheels and other happy thoughts. The last thought that went through my melon before sleep took me was how lucky I am to be me.
That’s a good way to end a day.