Wednesday, August 24, 2011

go west, old men!

i was almost giddy when i saw the weatherbug's anemometer this morning. the wind was out of the southwest! that meant we'd be doing a different route. nothing against the glendale out and back, but after a few thousand times it's gotten a little old.

i rode from my house past dan's. darkness! dan's going to get soft if he keeps this sleeping in thing going for too many more days. i rode on to brandon's and nearly ran into him trying to figure out in the dark which house was his. there weren't any lights on inside and he hadn't turned on the lights on his bike yet. i just heard this voice and knew he was there.

we circled around and headed west on highway 54. we didn't bother taking the side streets since traffic isn't all that bad at 6:00 in the morning. we rode out of town and took old highway 54 to the south and west.

now, there's something you should know about old 54. it's all uphill to the west. there are very few dips. you just climb and climb and climb. granted there's not much of a grade, but it's incessant. "climb, climb up sunshine mountain. faces all aglow!" add the wind which was "blow the flags straight out" strong and you've got your work cut out for you. our average speed on the way out was barely 14mph.

we turned around at a farm house about 8.5 miles from home and headed back. all i have to say is this: there's nothing like going downhill with a stiff tailwind! woohoo! we blazed back into town.

as we were entering the outskirts of pratt, we almost got hit by a little old lady who was waiting for oncoming traffic to clear to make a lefthand turn. she didn't see us, evidently, because she started across. we locked up our brakes a split second before she did. she waited and we went on.

when we got to main street we had to stop for the light. grrrr! i didn't anticipate this very well and got stuck in the middle of the two lanes beside a pick up with a trailer. the guy's window was down, so i told him to go first. he did and i tried to get started. my cleat missed the pedal and my foot slipped forward. i was rolling between lanes. it was awful. brandon sped away and i was left limping.

after i finally got my foot situated correctly, i accelerated as hard as i could to catch brandon. i rocketed up over 30mph and maintained that for a good quarter mile, maybe more. i caught him just as we took the turn onto champa.

we said our goodbyes and i rode over to my house. my average when i unclipped was almost 17mph. missed it by that much! (16.95 @ 16.7mph)
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