Yesterday was a ride for the books.
We drove down to Nephi (not quite 70 miles South from our house) and had breakfast at J C Michelson’s – a lovely little diner down there with toy trains going over your head throughout the meal.
As soon as we were finished, I got on the bike and rode north. Much of the first half of the ride was a portion of the first century ride I did on dad’s birthday in 2014. Through Goshen canyon and up to Elberta it was not only a beautiful day, but I was feeling good, confident, and pretty fast. Randy waiting at 24 miles in, and gave me some food and refilled my water.
A couple of miles north up the west side of Utah lake the wind from the north picked up a little, and my speed started to drop. Not usually too terrible a deal, and I figured I’d be fine. At 30 miles down, the wind picked up a lot, and my average speed per mile dropped from 12.5 to 10, and then precipitously as I climbed a hill – almost a full mile was done at <4 miles per hour. I can walk that fast if I’m wearing good shoes. When I changed directions it took some of the blast off, but I’d guess it was 25-30 miles of headwind, and gusts that would literally stop forward progression.
The mind does an interesting thing that Randy and I talked about last night in circumstances like this: I started thinking I was being punished for something. Yes, everything hurt. But it was more than that – I’d think the wind was dying down and I’d been “saved”, but then it would pick up again and I’d be battling and struggling to maintain uprightness, not just forward momentum. There were construction signs in a couple of places that I needed to go around, and they have those springs at the bottom so they bend in the wind instead of flying away (or snapping), and they make a CRAZY LOUD sound when they smack the ground with gusts of wind. Scared me to death – I just knew I wasn’t going to be fast enough to get past them, and once I was past them, I worried that the wind would let up and the spring would make the sign whip back up and whack me from behind. Or that the cars would hit me since the lanes were reduced and tight, so I rode into “their” lane.
Speaking of cars, to anyone who has come this far in the blog – please, please, PLEASE, if you are on a two-lane road and there is a cyclist in “your” lane and cars coming in the opposing lane, wait the 2 seconds it will take for those cars to pass before passing the cyclist. Way too many close-calls yesterday because drivers wouldn’t wait the extra 2-3 seconds. I promise I would rather not be in your way, too.
Anyway, muscles are sore and tired, but I did finish 60.65 miles yesterday. In 27 days I will have finished the very first day of riding in WA toward Key West. Crazy.