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You Just Never Know When A Good Ride Will Break Out


October 2020

Chuck and I rolled out last evening to a phenomenal evening that’s supposed to be the beginning of a great stretch of weather.  We’ve been battling gloomy and rainy over the last week or more and we finally saw some sunshine yesterday.  I was perfectly dressed for the low 50’s and an easy jaunt around the block.  Heading north was fast, I was over 20 before I knew it.  I turned east for Chuck’s house and that was fast, too.  Southwest wind.  It was going to be an interesting night.  Fortunately, we fit a lot of miles (23 or more) in a small 6 mile by 4 mile rectangle for our normal loop so we were never more than a couple miles of headwind at a time.

We rolled out slow and easy, picking up the pace as we headed into the wind.  I took the first three miles dead into the wind but I wanted some tailwind, too.  I took a half-mile of Chuck’s turn.  Then he took a turn… and it was on his second mile, into the wind on the smoothest road in our county, at 22-mph – I think that’s what did us in.  I took a chunk leaving a subdivision that we normally take fast because of a nice downhill.  It was a little tougher with the cross-headwind, but we kept the pace lively.  Entering the subdivision for a second time, I kept the pace up a hill with some tailwind help, then flicked off coming to a stop sign.

Chuck took over and hammered it.  Then I took another turn and hammered it.  Then the tailwind section and we both took some of that north of 23-mph.  Then it was time to come to Jesus.  We were staring at two ugly miles into the wind before another cross-tailwind mile.  I was still feeling pretty good at that point, so I offered to take the first mile of headwind, too.  I had a feeling I was making a mistake.  I wasn’t wrong.

Up a slight incline off of Calorie Corner (six fast food restaurants within spitting distance of each other) and I was north of 20.  I switched to the drops to cheat the wind a little more, but I was approaching max heart rate.  I lasted another half-mile but once I hit 172 on the heart rate, I have to go back for a rest.  I was beyond that.  Chuck took over for a half-mile, then I took a half, then Chuck again.  I caught the tailwind section and took it up to 23 again, but my heart rate maxed out again almost immediately.  I was done.  I made it a half-mile and told Chuck to roll on without me.

He was only a few hundred yards ahead of me when I turned the corner for home and I slowly ramped the speed up after having caught my breath.  I pulled into my driveway just behind him.  He was mildly bummed, after that big effort that we were only at a 19.4-mph average but he’d forgotten to take the slow start into account.

Then he said something to the affect of, “Yeah, I figured you wanted to go fast when we went into the subdivision, so I kept the pace up.”

I looked at him slack-jawed.  “I didn’t want to go fast.  I thought you wanted to go fast.”

Chuck chuckled. “I didn’t want to go fast.”

Me, “Damn.”

Yerp.  You never know when a real ride’s going to break out.  I have to admit, though… my pizza was just a little tastier than usual last night.

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