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

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Yes, it's Still Winter in Alabama

Just a short note, and no pictures. Yesterday (Saturday) was overcast and damp, and 37F. The breeze stiffened so that flags were streaming straight out from their poles. Frank emailed to ask about a metric, and Bill emailed to ask about Club lite. Joe emailed o say, "Just tell me where and when to be." Frank spent last Saturday down in FL doing a 300K for his RUSA series, so he no longer even breaks a sweat on our short outings. I weighed the options, opened MapMyRide, and laid in a course that began at Village Green Park in Millbrook, and wound through mostly back roads to Slapout, Sweetin, and Deatsville, crossing Lake Jordan north of Holtville. It was 44 miles. By riding the 6 miles from my house to the park, I got in 12 more. Frank also rode from home, but he lives closer.

I pulled us out of the parking lot, and after about 1 mile, we turned into the wind. I figured Frank would want the work out of being in front, but I think he was secretly testing me to see if I was randonneur material. I spent much of the windward portion in the front, though not all of course. Frank did take the front on the way back, when we had a tailwind, but he was booking so quickly, I could not stay with him. Well, he also pulled into the wind for a section of our westbound leg too, Credit given where credit is due. Bill did some pulling time to on the way out, but his weeks of off-the-bike caught up with him after our stiff climb (up to 14% if you believe his Garmin) on Coosada Rd and I think he was satisfied to relax and enjoy the ride back on the smooth, mostly downhill of Hwy 143. Joe was dealing with allergies and stayed in the back 90% of he time. This was so he could clear his sinuses frequently without hitting the rest of us, not because he was all that tired.

The route itself is a keeper I think. In nicer weather, when green returns to the trees, it will be pretty, and while there are some climbs, the total ascent is not bad. I rode the Rivendell Road with Maxy Fasty tires on. They were great on the coarse back country surfaces we went over, and still smooth and fast on the new asphalt. Learning from last week, I had a capacious OYB saddle bag to hold garments which might prove unneeded as the air warmed up. Not a stitch came off however! The dampness kept the "feels like" temp way low. In fact, my right foot, which most often was the windward side, suffered two numb toes despite double socking and a shoe cover.

When we got back to the park, I lingered a few minutes while Bill & Joe loaded up, and then headed back home. As I was laboring uphill and into the wind, I wondered about the wisdom of adding the miles, but as soon as I crested the big hill coming back, I was happy to have them.  A good outing all in all.

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