Mostly recaps of two wheeled rambles through the countryside, but sometimes thoughts on other things.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Polar Express

This post was originally written in January 2007

No, Chris Van Allsburg did not join us today, but we had his weather forecast for sure. It was 27 frosty degrees when "Louise" and I rolled out of the driveway this morning. When we showed up at the end of the ride it was a tropical 43. Yikes! And the 5-mph zephyr of a breeze forecast turned into a pretty steady 10 -12 out of the NNW, brisker when coming unobstructed over open fields.

I wore a thermal cap under a balaclava on my head. For torso protection, Under Armour tee shirt, a Lands End polyester pile warm shirt and a wind stopper Hind jacket. Bike shorts overlaid with Pearl Izumi winter tights did leg duty, feet had sock liners, wool socks, shoes and shoe covers. Finally, Pearl Izumi lobster claw gloves.

The head and legs were fine. The torso got a little cool, when I perspired so much that it was wet all the time. The lobster claws were too warm and I changed them out half way to lighter full-finger gloves. My feet were frozen solid. This bike has spd cleats and they are metal and suck the heat right out of you. I un- clipped and rode the last 7 or 8 miles on the street shoe side of the pedals which helped the temperature problem a lot. I lost half the pedal stroke power of course, though.

There were four of us to start and the route was very nice. When we had sun (and/or a tailwind) it was divine. Richard and new guy Tom (who wore only a bathing suit, I think; he's from up north somewhere) on his way-cool blue Pinarello, took the lead and actually turned in a few extra miles because they're so gung ho. Or they missed the turn. :) Frank and I loped along and enjoyed a great time talking about potential new bike builds, the joys of 50s plumbing (ours, not our houses') and stuff like that. The companionship is really the best part about club rides and more companions would have been appreciated today. If only to block the wind better for Frank and me. Actually, Jason caught us at the corner of Pike Road and Ray Thorington. He was a late arrival to the meeting point, but resplendent in his Team CSC get up. I thought David Zabriskie had joined our club ride for a second, until I saw Jason's face.

So we did a shade over forty miles, enjoyed the morning, and hope to see more of you next time.

If you have time on your hands before a certain football game tomorrow, let me know. I plan my usual Sunday afternoon spin in Prattville or Millbrook. And let me iterate, I ride at Lite speed (avg today was 14.7, for example). Usually my pace picks up during the year as we ride more, but it's never really very fast.

Hope y'all don't lose too much money on those refugees from Baltimore, 'cause ole Rex is gonna complete some passes...


"The world lies right beyond the handlebars of any bicycle." D. Behrman

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