Sixty Miles Before Coffee
I left the house at 6:15, this morning, with the intention of riding 100 miles on my bike. The weather guessers had us at 42 degrees, with a SSW wind at 5 to 10 mph, so I figured that I would be taking layers off as the day warmed up.
The sun was coming up as I rode down the Cherry Creek Trail. I planned to ride the trail to its southern end, then ride on through Castlewood Canyon on the gravel road to get 50 miles away from the house before turning around.
Now, I know that I haven't been doing a lot of long rides, but I have been commuting on the fat bikes since New Year's. So, I figured I was somewhat prepared for the ride. That's why I was so confused by how difficult the ride was. I was pushing pretty hard top maintain 12 or 13 mph, and I started feeling a bit fatigued before I was even as far from the house as my normal commute distance.
It took a while to dawn on me that I was pushing against a pretty significant headwind, and that the wind was getting stronger as I went south. By the time I was a few miles south of Parker, the wind was blowing me backward. I would guess it was blowing anywhere from 15 to 20 mph, at that point.
Not wanting a repeat of the Deckers ride from a couple of years ago, I called it at Scott Road, roughly 30 miles in, and turned back toward Denver. I estimated the wind speed at 15 to 20 mph due to the fact that I could easily carry that speed on the way north, where I was riding in the 11 or 12 mph range as I headed into the wind.
On the way back up Jordan Road, I saw this fellow eating his breakfast.
I tried to get a closer picture, but he decided I was crowding him. (I was happy to see him come back to the table, after I went back to my bicycle.) The prairie dogs across the road seemed relieved that he returned to his rabbit, rather than going for the second course...
I ended up riding to Kaladi Brothers to grab some coffee. I had 60.2 miles on the trip meter when I got there. The ride was a nice little pre-coffee jaunt for a Sunday morning.
One of the baristas told me that they had just been talking about how crazy cyclists are, and that my 60 mile morning ride just proved it. I assured her that I was crazy long before I became a cyclist.
I got home with just a bit over 62 miles on the trip meter. So, I did at least get a Metric Century in, even if I missed the English version by a bit. I guess that's not too bad for the first big ride I have taken since the gravel extravaganza in Indiana, last July.