When Lee picked me up it was pretty cold and foggy, and it only got worse on the way out west. There was also more traffic on the highways than we normally see, a reminder that not everyone was on holiday that morning. It was still dark when we arrived and the car park was completely empty, so we wisely decided to stay in the warm for a bit longer. Lee spotted Kevin's car going past the park and I wondered if he'd missed the turn in the dark and fog. It turned out that he'd popped into the bodega up the road to get water.
So there we were, freezing our butts off in a cold, damp car park - ah the romance of the road. There wasn't much discussion about how much gear to wear - basically if you had brought it, you wore it, including full finger gloves and over shoes. Lee had at least five layers on when we eventually got going.
One supposed advantage of riding in fog is that there can't be much wind or the fog would blow off. Apparently this natural law was in suspension in north west Harris county that morning as we seemed to have head winds in every direction. We took the Hegar road route that gets us 40+ miles but avoids the rumble strips, also likely to be the section with the most traffic that morning. About five miles in we cross a busy road, where unfortunately a big-rig driver had misjudged the turn and got the rear wheels of his trailer in the ditch. Ideally I would have hung around as it looked like the recovery would probably need a crane as well as my favourite road vehicle, the heavy wrecker, but it was cold and we were supposed to be riding.
We made pretty good time to the gas station, spurred on perhaps by a sudden drop in temperature over the last few miles! Lee was definitely feeling chilled and looking for cocoa or hot chocolate but sadly none was to be had. I took the opportunity to strip off my head warmer, now thoroughly soaked with sweat and dew, and after a bit of internal debate traded the full finger gloves for shortys. This was probably a good call, my fingers were bloody freezing for a while but eventually felt ok.
Back at it and the run to Prairie View where Kevin roared up the hills as usual. Lee's fig newtons had the desired effect, making him a lot stronger on the way home that he'd been on the way out. I started to flag and they had to rein it in for me several times. We managed a pretty strong pace down the home stretch, powered on by Kevin of course.
Kevin had to leave straight away (vet appointment for his diabetic puppy) but Lee and I had time to stop for coffee and hot chocolate on the way home. A good morning's work for your heroes!