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

Saturday, December 27, 2008

More Cowbell

That's what my ride needed today. Anything to distract me from the wind howling in my ears. I thought it was a bear yesterday to pull back home into the gusting winds, but today it was even stronger, and steadier. Our weather is supposed to change for the colder tomorrow, and this may be a precursor to the expected front. It was delightful to cruise WITH the wind at 18 - 23 mph, but far less fun for the longer pull home into the wind at about 11 mph. I passed one other rider going the opposite way and we waved, but that was it. She was a local I'm sure, on a light blue Trek compact design frame. The area has citrus groves and cattle farms and cows have been out both days. Here are some having a late breakfast:

Fruit picking crews were out today and the trucks were loading with beautiful orange fruit.
Artificial coloring not needed.

I heard a couple of dogs but none came out to harass me. About 1/2 way through the ride, I pulled over for a little rest stop. This picture really captures how I feel about riding. It matters little how fast I go, just that forward progress continues to be made.

Yesterday, two wrong turns were made, but that did not happen today. I get so involved in watching the traffic around me, the road, the sights, that I sometimes miss the turns. As long as I have the time, it's all good.

Once I headed back to the East, the full force of the wind hit. Coming off the fields, it felt like pedaling through jello. The key is to find a gear ratio and cadence that I can stay at for a long time. There is a natural tendency to hunker down in headwinds and that causes hand pain and saddle aches. I have to force myself to relax the upper body. To that end, these longer duration headwind rides are excellent training. Not much hill work here though.

I passed this crowd having lunch. They didn't budge as I approached. Perhaps they meant to invite me to share their meal? Or looking at the slow progress I was making, maybe they thought that I was their next meal. Florida has a lot of buzzards, let me tell you.

Being in the aircraft hangar business, I saw a sign for Manatee Airport, so I headed down the side road. This is a single grass strip, and features a wide assortment of ancient and rusty recreational and aviation equipment. A number of planes were for sale, and others were tethered under this rusted shade port made of tubing and canvas. One of our competitors erects hangars made of tubes, but I doubt whether they supplied these rinky dink shades.

I'm inching ever closer to the annual goal. Maybe tomorrow or Monday, it will happen.

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