Saturday, March 6, 2010

Pushing For Spring

Got out and about yesterday on the old road bike. The weather guys said it might make mid-to-high 30s or so but the wind would be pretty stiff. Fair enough...I'll give it a try. I actually had the day off and was not on-call for a change so I figured I'd better get some miles while I could. Sounded like a good idea at the time.
The kids were in school and CMB was working so I got on the road figuring on about three hours. Turns out the temperature was a tad cooler than predicted and the wind was a LOT stronger than anticipated. Kind of planned ahead more than usual so I started out going upwind and uphill for the first leg. The wind was straight out of the north and I sort of realized things were not going well when I hit the first snow drift blowing across the road. Understanding really dawned when I stopped feeling my fingers, toes and left side of my face. A few blasts of wind almost brought me to a stop on level ground and I had to gear down like I was climbing a cliff.
Sane people would wait until the glaciers retreat before attempting summer sports. Not this old guy. There's something wrong with dodging continuous potholes and snowdrifts while trying to ride a bicycle in March but hey, that's just me.
Once I got in the groove, I just sort of kept on pushing until I wound up at a little convenient store parking lot near Ithaca College which prompted a break and a call to my friend the Good Doctor to see if he had coffee going in his office so I could mooch a cup and warm up. He was and he did so I was about to push off and head for his place when I heard a bunch of yuk-yuking and ho-hoing behind me followed by a wolf whistle that would win prizes. I turned around as a whole pick-up load of construction guys was unloading to go get lunch. The look on their faces when the biker in black spandex with a pony-tail turned around and they realized HE had a beard was worth the price of admission. I asked the guy who whistled if he really liked guys that much and mentioned that I'm old, married and hence really not his type. His buddies were still laughing hysterically when I pulled out of the parking lot. It pays to know what you're gawking at before you make an idiot of yourself sometimes.
I eventually made it to Doc's office and bummed a coffee and some of his BTU's to thaw out before I aimed the bars south and started for home. It's quite a pull uphill at first so the leg-burn was going nicely when I finally came over the top and hit the homestretch. All that slugging upwind and upgrade paid off as I hoped it would. The last 10 miles was fast and easy with the breeze behind me and a downhill run to the back door. Sometimes a plan comes together.
For all of that, I wound up with 46 miles under the Trek and a sunburned face so it was a pretty good day all around. I just wish the days would get a little longer and the sun a little warmer soon. I could use a ride that includes getting home with feeling in my finger tips and no ice in my water bottle.

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