The cycling season has started. Actually it started a few weeks ago because the RBC schedule said it did.
I’ve done 6 rides so far most of them windy and chilly. Although the rides yesterday and today were much warmer than those a week ago. Having been grounded for two months with a sprained ankle after an attempt at cross country ski, and not having done much exercise for the few months before that, I’m only slowly getting back in shape. For the first time ever I gained weight this winter and had to loosen the belt a notch to keep things comfortable. Embarrassing.
But, we’re back riding!
Yesterday was RBC’s Two Park Tour ride (aka number 123), a favorite of mine because it was the second ride I did with the club after moving here. And everybody remembers their second! I like it because it can be a fast ride, it has some hills and some descents, it goes over quiet roads. Yesterday the wind was blowing hard from the west meaning that the first half of the ride would be work but the turning point near Avon was a blast. Wind in the back and rolling hills with stretches of false flat in the good direction. Around 20 people showed up for the ride which is a good number early in the season. Almost immediately after the start I decided to let the fast friends go (well, not much of a decision to be honest, they were going too fast) but after a few miles we settled with a group of 4 or 5 riders.
Today the route took us the other way around. The wind was a bit less but still very present and towards the end the two steep climbs up Stony Brook waited for us. While my legs were pretty tired after the ride yesterday, I felt pretty good today. While I ended up behind the fast group early on due to the need to take off my wind jacket, I managed to close the gap. That gave me a 19.2 mph average for the first half hour, something I knew I couldn’t sustain. Shortly after rejoining the group we came upon some short hills and I swung off the back. What I did notice while in the group that Gary “I’m going to take it easy today” was riding ahead of the group. Such certainties make one smile.
In the short season so far many of the Fast Friends have made appearances. Uncle Jules has been riding well, Spinning Ginn put in valiant efforts. Cold Hands Tom rode well last Saturday on the loop through Bristol and Honeoye. He wore inner gloves and his motorcycle gloves and still had cold hands. How is that possible!? The Pink man rides strong, of course. Saying things like “I brought my slow bike”, as if that makes a difference. Miss Giggles, of whom it is rumored that she does own a bike with gears, has so far preferred to conquer Parrish, Stony Brook and other steep climbs on her single speed. The Honorable Donna and Don managed to both ride today with Donna having the right cleats. Sara rides no matter what, feeling sick or having sore knees, and will still make sure she gets to the top of that hill before you, thank you. Engineman Otto has been making sure to get the miles in, already riding to the rides. And Mark seems to have a had a good winter, lost weight, looking good. Even Pencil Legs Dwight was there today. He’s possibly the only cyclist with thinner legs than I have.
Some of us are still slowly awakening from hibernation. We have not yet spotted Edward The Fast, welcomed Dr Bill to a ride, seen Dennis (both of them), nor Wayne (O Wayne, were art thou?). But I’m sure they’ll come and play with us the next weekend!