to name just one extremity chilled during my ride on Saturday. With the forecast showing a high of 37 F, the Mules cancelled both weekend rides, and Kevin bailed on me (admittedly a reasonable excuse - he was expecting a record crowd at that night's Unitunes show), so it was a lone, frozen wolf who set out that morning. There was a soccer tournament at Zube (they must have been really cold, poor kids) and we'd been asked to consider parking elsewhere, so I went past the Zube exit and pulled into the Hockley Community centre lot (site of last week's impromptu soap-box derby). The Northwest Cyclery group had also relocated for the day, but the cold had reduced their numbers from 50-plus to about a half dozen.
I had brought all my cold weather gear with the exception of my balaclava, which Susan won't let me wear anyway (apparently it makes me look like a bicycle-mounted terrorist), and with the car showing 31 F I decided to wear the lot, including booties. I took off at a good pace to try and get warmed up, but it wasn't until 20 minutes into the ride that I began to feel a little warm.
A stiffish breeze out of the north didn't help matters. Every turn north saw my speed drop to 14 mph or so, and my effort ratcheted up just to keep that pace. The good thing about riding on your own is that no-one is pushing you to go faster than you want. Of course, that's also the bad thing about a solo ride. With Kevin, I would have been fighting to keep it at 17 or 18 into the wind, on my own I could take it a little easier but I didn't get the same workout.
The roads were very quiet, and several times I found myself really enjoying the ride - cooking along pretty comfortably listening to the swish of the tires on the road. But I was glad to reach the north limit of the ride and turn around.
What a difference - running with the wind found me cruising at 20+mph without a lot of effort, the wind was clearly stronger than I thought. I got to the gas station feeling pretty good, having hydrated enough to feel the call of nature, so to speak. I bought a bottle of water from the young woman at the register - she asked me if I wasn't a little cold? Freezing, I replied.
Back at it, with one glorious downwind section pulling at 25 before making the turn east. Didn't seem to take too long to get back to the car. Parking at Hockley shortened the route to 36 miles which I managed at an average speed of 15.4mph, pretty good under the circumstances. But it was quite a while before I felt warm again.