Saturday, December 27, 2008

3,965 down, 35 to go.

When Mother Nature gives you 65° (and only a few clouds) on December 27th, you're not supposed to just sit around inside reading books or something. So I didn't. I woke up this morning at 9:30 (because it was still raining into the early morning hours) and started to get ready to ride.

It takes me a long time to get ready. Eat some breakfast (on mornings when I ride, that's usually just a thing of soy yogurt), get dressed (shorts!), make sure I have enough stuff to eat while I'm riding, get the water bottles ready, check the tire pressure, grab my phone and ID, say goodbye to Heather... I think that covers everything. When you throw in the fact that I'm just a slow-mover, you can see how I wouldn't actually get started until 11:00.

So yeah, I pulled out of the driveway at 11:00, and didn't return home until 3:20, with another 55 miles under my belt. The ride was great. Nice and sunny, warm, and even when it was windy, it was mostly a balmy wind. It took me a while to get used to the temperature.

Last Saturday, it was 20° and when I rode. When I went out at lunch on Tuesday it was 27°. You start getting used to that after awhile, and when it's 65° outside, you sort of just expect the temperature to drop 30 or 40 degrees at any time, with no warning. I'm pleased to report that such a drop in temperature did not occur.

I covered my usual spots and crossed all three rivers (multiple times, of course). For the most part, the riding surface was fine, and I was glad to be riding with my road tires (on the new wheelset). The stretch between the Millvale boathouse and the 31st St Bridge was pretty sludgy, but not so much so that I couldn't get through it. Slow going, for sure, but at least it was still passable.

After splashing through some good sized puddles, I was glad I had thrown on the waterproof shoes this morning. As advertised, they did a good job of keeping my feet dry. I thought about going the seven extra miles it would take to make the ride a metric century, but my left knee didn't really like that idea. It was pretty much ready to be done after mile 40.

I have to figure out what's up with that knee. I even did some stretches this morning, but it seems like it can only comfortably go somewhere between thirty and forty miles before it starts to bother me a little. I'm not sure if it's some kind of residual damage from the wreck, or if I'm still just not back in long distance riding shape.

It felt better, and held up longer today than it did last week. Maybe that's a good thing. It doesn't seem to hurt at all just walking around the house and stuff. Last week it was noticeably sore for a day or so.

Maybe I'll go out for a short ride tomorrow and see how it goes. I guess I'll wait to see how it feels in the morning. The weather's supposed to be decent again (down to 45° and pretty windy), so maybe I can get another fifteen or twenty in. I could always just take tomorrow off, but with only 35 miles left until 4,000, I don't want to waste any good weather. The forecast for the rest of the month looks promising, but that can change at any minute.

No comments: