Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

19 April 2015

Same Ride, Different Day--By Choice

Have you ever done the same ride two days in a row?

Back in my racing days, I sometimes did.  Ditto for the early part of my post-racing life, when I was still pretty young and training for…what, I didn’t know.  But, most of the time, I managed to find a different route every day for the hour or two or three I’d ride before or after work.

It’s rare, though, that I’ll follow the same itinerary two days in a row when I’m riding simply for pleasure.  Today was one of those unusual occasions:  I rode to Point Lookout again.

The sun shone as brightly as it did yesterday.  However, the wind blew harder and the temperature barely made it to 15C (60F) in my neighborhood, in contrast to yesterday’s 27C (80F).  That meant that though the temperature dropped considerably as I rode over the Cross Bay Bridge to the Rockaways, the contrast wasn’t as extreme as it was yesterday.

In addition to being stiffer, the wind blew almost directly from the south-south-east.  Yesterday, it came more directly from the southeast.  So, while I had headwinds, then sidewinds followed by more headwinds on yesterday’s ride, I pedaled into headwinds all the way from my apartment to Point Lookout.  On the other hand, I had a nearly perfect tailwind all the way home.  

One other difference: I rode Arielle, my Mercian Audax, for the first time this year.  I don’t know whether it was because I was so happy to ride her again, but the ride felt even smoother than I recall from earlier seasons.  Best of all, my ride out was faster than I thought it would be and I felt as if I were flying home.

Plus, if I do say so myself, she’s never been prettier.  Arielle always gets compliments; they seemed more common today.  Interestingly, of all of my bikes, it seems that Arielle and Vera (my green Miss Mercian mixte) get the most compliments for their looks.

Another reason why I was happy to be riding Arielle is that the gears sure came in handy when I was pedaling into that wind.  On my way home, I never shifted to anything larger than my third-smallest rear cog (on a nine-speed cassette) and I stayed in my large chainring throughout the ride.

So…I did 100K rides on consecutive days.  I guess that’s not bad considering how little riding I during the past winter, which seemed to end only when I went to Florida the week before last.

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