As I have mentioned before, I love fall rides. Today’s conditions consisted of a start temp of 60 degrees and a stiff west wind at about 18 mph and gusty. Oh yeah, intermittent rain as well.
It ain’t Belgium, but it’s about as miserable conditions I will consider riding in. It helped that my schedule won’t allow me to ride again for at least 3 days, so I was a little more desperate to get a ride in.
I’ll never consider myself the second coming of Stuart O’Grady, but as I was riding the route into Charlton, I couldn’t help but feel gritty. These are the conditions that usually keep most riders at home waiting for better weather. The first half of the route is mostly due west – directly into that headwind. That was tough, but I knew that I was going to have that at my back after the turnaround. When it rained, I was annoyed and concerned. I hate riding wet roads because everything gets slippery under my 700×23 tires. Also, it was COLD; I was generating just enough heat to keep from getting badly chilled. My toes were numb, but that’s par for the course.
The turnaround point at the end of Charlton Road was a great relief. Instantly I had a strong wind at my back. I sped up to 26mph spinning in a 53×15. Easy speed. At this point it was about five o’clock. The sun was getting low and it was mostly cloudy. Brr.
The wind was still a factor; at intersections I had to slow down and even the tailwind was chilly now. The red light I had to wait for at route 50 was tough. My Gatorade felt like it was right out of the fridge!
I got back just after 6:00 – 3 hours and 52+ miles; not bad. I was tired and well chilled. I have to admit that I felt refreshed. The cool weather truly brings out another dimension to the rides. It’s like a slap in the face to wake you up. I think that was the last hurrah for Epic rides this season. I can’t see myself taking time off from work two or three times a week just to get in 3 hour rides. I think the run of the mill 2-hour ones will have to do.