I knew it was coming. Every year about this time, the speed of riding takes a nosedive. The great slow down begins when temperatures drop into the 30s.
This morning was my first sub-40-degree ride since January. It was 36 when I left the house. I rode east into a brisk northeaster. The longer I rode, the colder I got. My fingers were numb, my legs ached, my back was stiff and I was sloooow. I couldn't get much over 16mph. I turned around at about 14 miles out. My average a creeping 15.9mph.
The trip back wasn't much better. The wind wasn't easterly enough to help and the cold was getting to me. I kept grinding out the miles and gained a tenth or two, then lost them both, gained one back lost it, gained again, lost again. In the end my average climbed a single tenth to 16mph. (The last time I rode that slow was April 16th.) The temperature at ride's end? 32.
To add insult to injury, when I entered all the day's data in my bike log, my overall average for the year dropped a tenth from 18.2mph to 18.1mph. The great slow down has begun.