I took the Trek out yesterday, though I could have taken the Venge. I figured if I took the Trek I’d be able to better hold my pace down after the previous night’s gloriously cold romp around Lennon, the opening TNIL of the year. This early in the season I have a tendency to, having just thrown off the shackles of winter, go a little too “all out” rather than ease into the new cycling season.
The weather was absolutely perfect. Upper 50s to low 60s (14 to 15 C), barely a breeze from the north, and the sun was shining brilliantly. I knew it was going to be hard to keep my speed down on the Trek – impossible on the Venge. And sadly, Chuck had to work late, so it was going to be a solo night.
I rolled out right around 5pm and threw out any idea of riding slow within a quarter-mile. Leg warmers, a long-sleeved jersey over an Affable Hammers summer short-sleeve, and a light Headsweats cap and I was feeling fantastic, if even a little overdressed. I figured I’d keep it moderate and see what kind of speed that would produce. I could still feel Tuesday night in my legs, so I didn’t want to get into red-lining it.
As I rolled on, the north wind picked up in speed to a point that heading north was getting ugly. At one point, maybe six or seven miles into the ride, and with a good bit of the headwind out of the way, I had a 19-1/2-mph average. The wind picking up knocked that down a good bit, but even into the wind I was having more fun than a kid in a candy store. After a short stint heading northeast that was just brutal (I actually laughed when the wind punched me in the mouth after turning from east to northeast), I turned south for home and picked up the pace. By the time I hit the driveway, 22 miles and some change done, I had an 18.9-mph average. The ride was a little more enthusiastic than was probably necessary given Tuesday night’s hard ride, but my God, was it fun.
That ride did more for my mental health than a full month of “mindfulness” practices. In the end, that meditation stuff is great and all, but give me some sunshine, decent temperatures after a long winter and a bicycle, and I’ll show you happy.