Storming the road

29 06 2011

Normally the quick, pan-flat ride out to Steveston is just a cheap play for easy kilometers, a nice way to loosen the legs.

It's a pan-flat ride out to Steveston, not much of a challenge usually.

Not tonight.

It wasn’t going to be a ride night. At mid-afternoon it was cold and dark and windy, hardly the kind of weather we should be experiencing two days from July. But by the time I headed home from work, the clouds had drifted away, the temperatures had been warmed by the sun and the wind had become a stiff breeze.

Tree branches were bending in the stiff westerly breeze.

I needed to ride.

When I hit the road, the breeze had started to pick up again, and clouds were sliding in from the horizon. I figured riding into the headwind was as good as a long climb up Burnaby Mountain, so I decided to stay on the flats out to Steveston.

The effect on my pace was immediately apparent; I was a good six kmh slower heading into the westerly wind. Where was an echelon when I needed one?

And, of course, a headwind on the way out is a tailwind on the way home.

Sure enough, after the turnaround my pace quickened by almost 10 kmh, although part of that may have been accomplished by my motivation to keep up with a club racer who had passed me; I was careful not to wheel suck but I was determined to stay about 10 meters back for as long as I could. I lasted for about 3 kms.

Keeping pace with a passing club racer is good motivation

One of my favorite features of the Garmin is the calorie calculator. Not that I’m on a diet or ever really count calories, but it’s nice to know I can indulge in a post-ride treat or decadent desert after a delicious guilt-free meal like barbecued pizza and beer.

Mmmmm, guilt-free pizza and Belgian beer.

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