Monday, April 2, 2012

Biking - An early season half-century

Friend Judy and I usually try to push each other a little when it comes to getting in the biking miles, so today we planned to get out for a ride.  The forecast from a couple of days ago when we planned this was for temps around 50 and light winds.  Then last night the forecast changed to around 50 degrees and winds at 20 gusting to 30.  We decided to go anyway.

We would meet at the Pine Bush Discovery Center on NY-155 and navigate a loop around Guilderland, Altamont, Princetown, and Rotterdam, totalling about 36 miles and including a climb up Grant Hill Road near the beginning.  I decided to increase my miles by riding from home to the Discovery Center, a little over 7 miles each way.  I had a nice tailwind in the morning, but I knew the ride home would be somewhat less pleasant.

Our route, 36 miles and 800+ feet of climbing
The hills were really not the story today - it was the wind.  The entire 12 miles from mile 8 to mile 20 (15 to 27 for me) were basically into a strong northwesterly headwind and slightly uphill.  I might have bailed out early had I been alone.  But we persisted.  When we got to mile 20 (27), we stopped for a snack, and then enjoyed the turn away from the nasty headwinds.  Reaching the Discovery Center again, I still had 7+ miles to get home, and by now the winds had increased from their morning levels.  It was a tough final 7 miles, directly into a gusty headwind, but at least it was flat.  I feel surprisingly good after this ride, and look forward to more long rides like this as we prepare for the Bon Ton Roulet in July.

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