At least it sure felt like it today. We had sunny blue skies all day long with temperatures creeping up into the upper 30’s. I decided to take advantage of the great weather and did an outdoor bike ride; my first since December 2nd. I had a relatively light work morning so I decided to take off early and head to Grand Haven to meet Jennie when she got out of work.
I knew going into the ride that the wind was out of the NW – the direction I was headed. Nevertheless, I decided to stick to my plan and head into the wind. I figured that it would be a good mental workout as well as a physical one.
It was an absolutely brutal ride. I’ve done it dozens of times before, but this was by far the hardest. The first half is rolling hills with a couple of big climbs. The wind wasn’t too bad at this point because the roads were lined with trees and/or houses which helped block it. However, the 2nd half of the route is through farmland where it is completely flat with nothing to block the wind. There were times when it felt like I wasn’t even moving. I almost wish that I had been doing an out and back, rather than stopping at Jennie’s work so that I could have taken advantage of the tail wind (like Lance and Chris did in Hawaii). Oh well, I still wouldn’t have averaged 56kmph.
Despite the wind, I managed to stay fairly warm. My feet, which are normally the first to get cold, stayed nice and toasty thanks to my Specialized neoprene shoe covers. I also had on my bike shorts with tights over them, a long sleeve compression shirt with a bike jersey over it, a balaclava, and gloves. My hands and forearms did get pretty cold near the end of the ride, but stayed warm much longer than I thought I would.
When I finished, I grabbed this screenshot from my iPhone of the weather conditions. If it wasn’t for that damn wind, it would have been perfect weather.
My time and pace for the ride was horrible compared to my previous rides. It took me 2:20:03 to go 36.24 miles (15.5 mph pace). Compare this with the last time I rode this route in October when it only too 1:47:27 for a 20.2mph pace. Like I said, the wind was brutal.
After the ride, I rode home with Jennie and we got Big Bob’s pizza for dinner; the perfect fuel after a long ride. I decided to skip my 4 mile run today figuring that the ride more than made up for it. Now, it is time to get a bit more work done before I fall asleep at my desk.