Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Longest ride of the year

On Sunday evening a big storm blew across west Michigan knocking down trees and knocking out power. We didn't lose any tree but we did lose power for about 6 hours. Luckily we had done our team ride earlier in the day, so even though it was windy we didn't get caught in the storm. Did I say it was windy? That might be the understatement of the summer. 20 mph sustained winds from the west, and the south, and occasionally the north, with stronger gusts. It was also very warm Sunday, with the thermometer hitting 90 degrees. And we rode 71 miles with 2,300 feet of climbing. It was a day to test one's metal.

The route left from Spring Grove Park in Jamestown. The ride was split into two loops. The first 30 mile started at 8:00 a.m. and the second 40 mile loop started at 11:00 a.m. Since my longest ride to this point was only 45 miles I decided to do both loops. The wind was blowing as we started, but thankfully most of the route ran north and south. So you would think a cross wind wouldn't be as bad as a head wind. You would be wrong. It was very difficult to hold a line when fighting an intense cross wind. It felt like I was having mechanical problems with my bike. But it was just the wind.

After we finished the 30 mile loop Mary joined us for the second loop. This one was also mostly north and south but still pretty difficult. In fact the winds kept getting stronger all day. In the evening we would know why. Between the hills and the wind our 12 person group got pretty stretched out on the Ottawa and Allegan county roadways. But we managed to get back together at stop signs and finished at roughly the same time.

It is now only 11 days until we ride in LaCrosse. I rode 75 miles last week and 71 on Sunday alone. While I don't feel in my best cycling shape ever, I think I'm good for the LaCrosse ride.

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