In my book I opine that exercise is a very easy habit to break, and two things that keep you on track are variety and friends. Variety helps belay boredom and friends can get you out when you would rather not. Such was the case with today's ride.
I prefer to not ride on Saturdays and really don't like riding in the wind. Thus, I was peacefully planning a quiet day of stretching etc when Amy sent me an email. Her calendar was open Tuesday and Thursday, and she would be riding from her house out to Andice (30 miles north) tomorrow (that is, Saturday). Timing is everything. What with wind and various appointments, my mileage is way down and State Time Trials only two weeks away. My legs need work. And, I wanted to see how she got from her house to Parmer Lane (5 miles).
So, after several communications, we agreed I'd ride over to her house (1.7 miles) around 7am. Not even waiting for the sun to get them going, when I looked out the back door at 6:15am, the trees were already bending in the stiff south wind. We would have fun going to Andice and pay dearly coming home.
Five miles of neighborhood, twenty miles of Parmer/Ronald Reagan, five miles of county roads put us into Andice. Twenty miles of rolling hills, with a lot of big ring riding, but not really pushing a pace. A nice downhill was interrupted by hitting something (no clue what) that gave me a pinch-flat. The flat-changing god smiled kindly upon me. With a minimum of movement, I had it changed and used the CO2 without a problem. The rest of the ride north was uneventful.
Lots of cyclists use Parmer Lane and many stop at the Andice store. Amy refilled her water bottles (I had about 80 ounces in my Camelbak) and after a short break we started back. This section also had no drama, other than gusts of wind that threatened to blow us over. Because my riding this year so far has very few days over 43 miles, I was beginning to fade after 45 miles. However, I still had enough to not be an embarrassment to Amy. And since we weren't fighting the wind for excess speed, we were able to keep a nice, even pace.
Sometimes I describe riding into a wind as brutal. Today might have been ferocious, but not brutal. While extremely tired, at least I didn't feel beat up. I may even have enough left in the tank to take my Sunday ride.
On another note: From the "They don't make them like they used to" department, I dragged an old bike out of the attic recently. The tire was flat, but when I began to put air in the tube, it had no problem staying inflated. The tube is twenty-five years old.