This was my motto when training/running marathons. It wasn't unique to me, got it from Joe Henderson at Runner's World. Anyway, this last Monday the sun shone in a cloudless sky and the temperature at 9:15am read 55 degrees with a promise of upper 60's by early afternoon. My Sunday 360 ride had been strenuous and this looked like a perfect time for a nice recovery ride and an opportunity to increase my mileage base.
It wasn't until a half hour into the ride that I noticed the slight wind at my back had increased as the sun rose. The planned ride went to Walburg, a straight north route which meant 25 miles of wind mostly at my back followed by 25 miles of right into my face. My recovery ride now morphed into something more like hard work. The cycling to Walburg obviously went well, pedaling in a higher than normal gear and an easy cadence. Quite enjoyable. Once there, I stopped for a Clif Bar and to take stock of the situation.
I much prefer a circular route to an out-and-back, so while munching the energy bar, decided to head east about a mile and take an alternate road south until I picked up University (Chandler Road). My mental calculation added five miles, but as the calendar was clear, the additional minutes posed no problem. Besides, as Barry would say, the trees would provide a modicum (he wouldn't use that word) of protection from the wind.
It took an hour and a half to Walburg, two and a half to return home. My mantra: "become one with the wind." That sorta worked, in that I really didn't fight it like I normally do, stayed in a low gear, and had a mid-route energy stop. Total mileage came in at 56 miles. The wind really did a number on me and I was beat for the rest of the afternoon, utilizing the recliner to the fullest extent.
In posting the stats on my spreadsheet, I looked up the last time I had ridden over 50 miles. Not counting the vacation trips of Natchez Trace and E2E, my last 50-miler occurred May 11, 2009. As Mad-Eye Moody would proclaim: CONSTANT VIGILANCE! I need to get back to once-a-week lsd rides.