It's the ride in your miles, as Miss Mae West might have said if she were a cyclist. Our last ride was a good example - not particularly long, but quite a workout thanks as ever to our old friend the wind.
The Mules were riding in Montgomery County, which is too far and way too redneck for me (all the worst truck vs bike incidents seem to happen there) and both Kevin and I were short on time, so we opted for an early start and a blast round Waller County.
Northwest Cycle Club were assembling for their normal Saturday ride when we pulled up. No Mules in sight except for Mike who was riding with NWCC anyway. We started out in low 40's temperature but no wind to speak of. The sun was out and helped warm us a little except when we hit shade. This had Kevin pondering the benefits of Agent Orange, as he was a little under-dressed.
Kevin was struggling to get going, due to a lot of exercise earlier in the week, including one of his monster pool workouts and a weights session where he worked his legs. As a result I was able to burn him on all the climbs (and did so gleefully).
Although the flags were lying on their staffs on the way out we still made excellent time and got to the gas station with an average speed of 18+mph. Mike was there already, having got dropped by his group and taking a short-cut to catch up.
Back at it, and I found it hard to hit my cadence for the first mile or two. I need a break on these rides but this one seemed to have done more harm than good. We took the scenic route back via Prairie View A&M and it has a couple of interesting climbs, where once again I mugged my riding partner shamelessly.
Seemingly from nowhere a strong wind dead out of the east had sprung up and we began to struggle. For once I was able to convince Kevin to share the load, and we ran into the wind changing out the lead every half-mile. Of course Kevin kept biting off chunks of my turn, and because he was pulling faster than me his time at the front was shorter, so I got less of a breather. But we held it together pretty well all the way back, completing 46 miles at 16.4 mph average. No-one was complaining about a lack of a workout this week!