Monday, January 21, 2008

The Monday night (no) group ride.

As usual, I like to show up to a bike ride on a bike, not with a bike strapped to an SUV. This is mostly a matter of practicality, not environmentalism. I would similarly rather drive my Focus to an Autocross than have it towed to and forth on a trailer. This set me back a bit, as traffic signals had thwarted my efforts to get there on time. I was about a minute late. That said, we haven't started on time in almost a month. I think I was the only one who showed up. I'd find it hard to believe people actually left on time this week, but no one was around.

36 degrees this time of year is too nice an evening to waste, so I departed on the first leg of our usual Monday night ride. Mark Thomas usually runs something different every week when he's leading. He's out Cross racing in Europe this week, but Russel would have likely lead today anyways. I generally have a good idea where they're going, so I set out to catch up just in case I'd missed the peloton by a minute or two. It was clear that either I was on the wrong path or I was the only one on the ride within 5 minutes or so.

I decided to putz around some side streets. Up Colonial to Lamar, back onto Colonial, got lost and ran into a few dead ends. No biggie. I was just having a good time at this point. I decided that Lamar was nice enough to ride on, so took it all the way up to Mart-Way. This intersection is the main bus transfer depot for our local bus system, and one of my favorite Thai Restaurants is across the street as well. I resisted the urge to pick up a dish from Thai Orchid to eat later. It sounded very tempting and I'm sure the bungees could have held it safely all the way home. Alas, I kept riding.

Up to this point, the majority of my riding had been north and east. With the wind. This whole time, it was a stable 36 degrees as well. My return was a grueling one that started off with a death slog uphill and into the wind on Mart-Way. I found Metcalf, shimmied along it for a while, cut through some lawns and found 61st. Then it was a ride into the stiff wind. I watched as temps literally plummeted. We lost almost 10 degrees in just a matter of minutes.

A glutton for punishment without a good alternative route, I chose to slog Antioch (again, into the wind) to 67th street. The result of that was 300 feet of climbing rolling hills into the wind in just about 2 miles. Wind and hills. Two foes I know well but still haven't adjusted to.

I took a few "detours" along the way. Hopped a few curbs, rode through some grass. Good stuff. The rough outline of my ride is here. There were a few "oopsies" as well, which I didn't mark. Some dead ends and what-not. All in all, though, it was a fun ride. I should be ready to rock and roll for the morning commute now. Looks like I stand a chance of riding in or near single digit temps again.

Random Tunage:
Nine Inch Nails - A Warm Place
Nine Inch Nails - Closer

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