Sunday, September 26, 2010
Playing in the Rain
Sam and I left before the sun was up this morning, a little later than we intended, but we were on the road, by shortly after 7am
It was a brisk 52 degrees, with light precipitation when I left downtown, but by the time we got going, it started out as just wet roads.
We headed south on Mann Road and I am not really sure where we were when the sun actually came up as it was to overcast to tell, but I think we were at the top of Centenary hill.
By the time we arrived at the Marathon station on 67 just before Robb Hill, it seemed like the weather was going to clear off, so I didn't bother to turn my rain jacket right side out when I snugged it down to my waist. We were trying to work on less than 3 minute stops and would have been out of the Marathon quite easily and back on the road in 4 but Richard, the guy manning the cash register was enthralled by my headlight. A cycling enthusiast himself, he said that he had never seen one quite so bright and had seen us coming from way down the road on the other side of 67. So I enlisted yet another Nashbar recruit and gave him all the info on my little Blackburn light.
So after about a 12 minute stop, we were back on the road and ready to climb Robb Hill.
We made it over the top in good order, but it started to spit rain again, so I had to struggle back into my inside out rain jacket, which I managed to do, but not without a lot of genuflection :)
Sam and I were very plesantly suprised to find a lot more climbing on the other side of Robb hill which pretty much continued well to the other side of Wilbur on 142 when we exited the wonderful tree cover and entered the land of abominable wind. Fortunately we only had a few miles of this before we made the turn around at the white house in the middle of the cornfield, next to the herd of escaped cows.
We stopped for a quick photo op (fortunately Sam took the phone pic as my Nikon seems to have ate the other pic - but I did find the pics that vaporized from my last rain ride with Kate E. - see Blood Sweat and Rain post )
So we got turned back into the wind full force and the sky looked ominous. The hills seemed to just fly by on the way back and either they were a lot easier on the way out or I just didn't notice because I was talking the whole way (which made me even happier that Sam was with me or otherwise it might have looked like I was crazy)
Next thing I knew, we were cruising back down Robb and were pulling into the Marathon to fuel up (yes they do have bananas) and got our stay there lengthend again by Richard. (quite a nice and interesting chap actually)
So in my haste to depart I left the water I bought sitting on the ledge outside the station. (If any of you go by there and see it, feel free to help yourselves, I don't really need it now) and fortunately did not really need it this morning.
The traffic was really pretty light until we were almost back, which made the early departure seem like that much better of an idea.
We averaged about 13.5 and this was a very pleasent 50.7 mile ride, I may do this for a double to get one more century in before I have to give up my bike. Excellant choice of venue Sam!!
Aside from not having a 7 mile climb, the topography was very comparable to what we will ride in DV. Great training circuit.
Well that's it see you all this week I hope and I will be at Southwestway on Tuesday again for the last time until Death Valley.
Keep those cards and letters coming!