It was cold for the start of last evening’s Tuesday Night In Lennon. Notice I didn’t choose the word “cool”? Yerp, cold. Just 47 degrees (8 C) when we pulled into the parking lot. Folks, I’m just not ready for this. In all reality, the cold is still kinda fresh… it was 70 (21 C) just last week. That’s a pretty steep drop in a week.
We rolled out for a short warm-up just after 5, with not near enough time to do the full seven mile loop. We lollygagged for 2-1/2 miles, just long enough to get comfortable with knowing my three light layers were going to be enough. Also enough to know that my little sticky shifting issue was 100% fixed and the bike was shifting like butter. The Trek is dialed in.
We rolled out a few minutes past 5:30 and the sun was already a lot lower than I was comfortable with. All of the big hitters showed up on their gravel bikes, which was welcome news because the wind was out of the northwest which meant a lot of headwind and crosswind for the ride – there really wasn’t going to be much of a break. The point is, the pace wasn’t going to be as fast as it normally would be, but we weren’t going to watch the grass grow, either.
I picked the left lane of the double pace-line, which meant I was going to catch the bulk of the crossing headwind until we hit Shipman road. One issue I hadn’t taken into account was the diet I’ve been on. I’m not eating much of a lunch and that zapped my confidence as soon as we hit the headwind and guys started dropping to the back to suck wheel. I did my rotations but the rest periods were short. As we headed north, though, the pace picked up and I started struggling. It nagged on me that I was having a rough go when I knew I shouldn’t be. As we headed southwest, the sun was dropping to the horizon fast, and I decided to cut bait early. I had a little case of the “it’s late in the season and I don’t wanna”…
Winston was struggling a little, too, having just come back from being ill and was short on cycling fitness. We turned off together and beat a path for the City Limits sign… and the sun dropped like a rock. We talked while maintaining a 20 to 22-mph pace all the way back. How the others got back before light failed, I don’t know, but we made it.
We were packed up and down the road before any of the other riders made it back. So that’s basically it, folks. Put a fork in this year’s cycling season, it’s done.
Oh, but what a year it was!!!