The Club Ride took off at 11 o'clock--due to an exchange of several emails on the group list. The normal time is 9 but this morning it was only 37 degrees here in lovely Lawrence, Kansas. Still, when I showed up in the parking lot at Broken Arrow Park, there were riders just coming back from the 9 am fast group. A couple of fellas wished they would have stayed in bed because they looked exhausted and were not thawed-out when I arrived. Temps were only about 40 degrees for the second group starting out at 11, and it was getting windy.
I was warm for the most part--this was the first really cold day to ride. The sun was out but the wind was choppy, blowing hard, and shifting this way and that. I held on--only barely--to a wheel in our small group, but I was sure working hard, mes amis. Finally on the last big climb up to the Big Farm, I got dropped. Luckily at the turn to start up to Lone Star Lake, my comrades waited for me.
At Lone Star, the Sun was out and warming us up. Everyone just standing there in a daze but letting that sunshine and warmth soothe cold and wind-blasted bodies. When the wind suddenly started blowing hard from the North, our Ride Captain took notice. "Let's get outta here, gang--wind's shiftin' on us..." Usually we would have a tail wind going back, like I did on my last post--but not this time, Gentle Readers of This Blog. This time riding back was a slog-fest.
I stayed with the pack and rode pretty well but soon I tired. As we started a climb I just couldn't keep up. I also noticed my heart rate going very high and almost to the max so I thought I better just back down a little. The main group was about a quarter mile in front of me the whole way back, and there was no use trying to catch those four riders up ahead. The headwind was too strong.
I found a good gear and a rhythm to keep me going just knowing that I'd be home soon enough.