I am not sure a cyclist planning on an early Saturday morning ride should look at the weather forecast. I mean, when I saw that it was going to be 3 degrees when the ride started, I really wasn’t in the mood to do the ride. Knowing that it was going to be 13 later in the day helped, but that really wasn’t on my mind when my head hit the pillow.
The cat beat my alarm by a good thirty minutes. I drew open the curtains to see the sun had just risen. On Friday, my student told me that she opened the window and stuck her hand out every morning to know what to wear. I checked my phone and found out that things were going as forecasted. I opened the window anyway–I’m not sure whether that was to wake me up or check the temperature. Either way, I could see my breath and I was less than happy.
Because the sun was shining, perhaps, I decided to go through with my pledge and head out on the ride. First, I put on my riding jacket. I had bought it when I first started riding, but rarely wore it. I figured that on most occasions, I would rather be too cold than too hot. Also, in other years, I got a later start to the riding season.
When I arrived at the meeting point, I quickly met up with some people from last year. It was good to do make small talk. We talked about who had been out and how the weather had been. Some people bragged about the new equipment they had treated themselves to. There were some new bikes and some new Garmins. There were some older bikes with lighter wheels and better cranksets. There were also a whole bunch of people bundled up against the cold weather. I was the only one who hadn’t worn leg coverings. I had put them out to take, but forgot them as I dithered about whether or not to take the jacket.
I joined the C group because the speed and distance of the B and B+ groups was still a bit too high–though my goal is still to join the B group on a regular basis. We were set for 50kms, but the group leader was unaware of the route. He had planned to load the route onto his new Garmin, but couldn’t quite figure it out. Luckily someone else had and off we went.
Last year we rode the same route numerous times. Today’s ride had elements of those routes, but enough new parts to make me pleasantly surprised. There were a few long climbs, but pretty much any route in the area would have them. I will have to go on Strava to see if my elevation was more or less than usual.
The five of us managed to do a good job of covering distance and most people took a turn at the front. I took a couple into a strong headwind, but managed to survive it and keep the pace up. One of the riders did most of the grunt work and I made a point of thanking him at the end of the ride.
My onboard cycle computer says I did 71kms–I tooled around the neighbourhood after I got back because I know there is a discrepancy between the onboard cycle computer and Strava and I wanted to break 70. Sadly, Strava only gave me 68.99. I don’t know which one is more accurate, but I am going to stick with the computer–because it is giving me the number I wanted.
This is the longest ride I have done this year and it felt pretty good. I think joining the Tuesday night rides has helped me shake off the early season rust. Now, if I can drop a few pounds, I will probably be all set.