WPW's Solstice Century was yesterday. I was hoping to do a metric (100km/62 miles). That didn't quite happen. My left knee really started bothering me at about 30 miles, and the only reason I actually got 42 miles in is that if I hadn't ridden the last twelve, I'd have never made it back to my car. I kinda had no choice.
The only thing that was less than awesome about the ride was that I was completely out of my element. The ride was all over North Park and surrounding areas (we were as far as Warrendale at one point), and I'm basically not familiar with any of those areas at all, at least not in terms of getting around by myself by bike. That meant it was fairly imperative for me to keep up with the rest of the riders.
That was no problem for the first twenty-something miles, but after my knee starting bugging me, it made for a more stressful situation, because the last thing I wanted to do was be stuck in the middle of nowhere (relatively speaking) in the freezing cold.
And freezing cold it was. After the first ten miles or so, the water in my water bottles was getting pretty solid. The mouthpieces were frozen shut, and the only way to get a drink was to unscrew the whole top and suck down whatever wasn't already in an icy state. I'm going to have to pick up a couple of those insulated water bottles if I plan on doing this winter riding thing. And I do plan on doing this winter riding thing.
At least one of things I did right was to swap my studded tires out for my regular road tires the night before the ride. If I'd been riding on the Nokians, I'd have been miles behind everyone from the start. I couldn't believe how heavy those things are as I was pulling them off of the wheels on Friday night.
I threw them in the car, just in case I got out to North Park and everything was icy, but there were only a few spots where there was some ice on the road, and none of it was too terrible. The road tires were fine. But they come back off tonight as I get ready for the last two days of commuting for 2008.
The weather for tomorrow and Tuesday look surprisingly rideable (although the high for tomorrow is only 21 with 20-30 mile winds), so I may as well get out there and get riding. All of this driving to work lately has been making me crazy. Plus, after yesterday, I'm still 110 miles away from 4,000. Riding tomorrow and Tuesday should get me to about 935. 65 more miles somewhere in the last eight days of the year should be pretty achievable, even with the holidays getting in the way.
Won't you be glad when January 1st gets here and I can stop talking about how many miles are left on my quest for 4,000? I'm expecting to ride closer to 5,500 - 6,000 for 2009.