After overindulging on turkey (and subsequently passing out in front of the fire), I decided that I should go for a bike ride on Friday. As luck would have it, Friday turned out to be one of the coldest days of the season. Our unseasonably warm weather appears to be behind us. I knew that the weather was going to be a bit colder and had packed my cold weather gear.
I started my ride headed west into the wind. My goal was to ride the Orchard Trail, which started about 9 miles away from the in-law’s house. This was the most difficult part of the ride. Not only was it directly into a frigid headwind, but it was entirely on surface streets, most of which were not suitable for bike traffic. Some of them were busy two lane roads with 50 mph speed limits (closer to 60 mph actual speeds though) with absolutely no paved shoulder. The frustrating thing was that there was plenty of room where there could be a paved shoulder, but instead it was just gravel.
By the time I actually got to the trail, my feet were absolutely freezing. I pushed forward and after 2 miles on the trail, I passed a bike shop. I decided to stop and see what they had in the way of shoe covers. I ended up buying a pair of Specialized Neoprene Shoe Covers. As soon as I put them on, there was a noticeable difference. They were a lifesaver. Had I not bought them, I probably would have turned around there rather than adding on a few more miles. The only downside was that I didn’t have them at the start of the ride so my feet were already cold when I put them on. They kept my feet from getting any colder and even warmed them up a bit. I’ll have to give them a try start to finish next week to see how well they work at keeping my feet warm to begin with.
The return trip of this ride was glorious. I knew that I would have a tailwind nearly the entire way and it would be mainly downhill. Knowing this was one of my motivations to keep heading out further on the first leg of the ride. The longer I suffered on the hard part, the more I would get to enjoy on the easy part.
I flew back to the house on the return, making the wind all worth it. In the end, it was a 35.8 mile ride in 2:05:39 (17.1 mph). My splits were 1:10:00 for the first half and 55:38 for the second; 4 mph faster on the way home. All in all, I think it was a good way to burn off all of the excess eating.