Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

06 November 2015

A Late Summer Ride In November: No Sweat!

Today was a very strange day, weather-wise.  When I got out of bed at 7:30 am, it was already 20C (68F).  The normal afternoon high temperature  at this time of year is around 15C (60F).  By mid-afternoon, we had a high of 25C (77F).

What made it all even stranger is that in the morning, the rain that had fallen in the wee hours dripped and slicked all over everything.  Most of the day remained overcast, although there was no real threat of rain.  The sun peeked out briefly about three and a half hours into my ride, but it pulled the blanket of clouds across its face almost as soon as I saw it. I have often ridden, happily, in such conditions in coastal areas in the US and Europe.  

The sun peeked out briefly about three and a half hours into my ride, but it pulled the blanket of clouds across its face almost as soon as I saw it.  The combination of warmth--more typical of early or mid September--and cloud cover could have made for very sticky conditions.  However, even on a 125 km (75 mile), about a third of which consisted of sequences of climbs with very little flat or straight stretches between them, I wasn't sweating--or drinking water--very much.  And I didn't feel tired, in the middle, late in the ride, or in the end.



Perhaps I was energized by the light I saw:  the trees and bushes radiated their autumnal colors, just past their peak in upper Westchester County, against a gray sky particular to November, I feel:  aging, like the earth beneath it, and  rather melancholy, but not oppressive. 



Now that I think of it, that might have been the reason why I sweated so little, in spite of the climbing and heat:  When the late summer sky is shrouded with thick cumulus clouds on a late summer day, you can still feel the intensity of the sun, and of the heat that almost everything seems to absorb after several weeks of summer. But, even if the sun had shown itself more today, I don't think it would have drained me, and my waterbottle:  It would have been less intense, and it would not have been aided by the the ground, streets and other things that absorb its heat in the "dog days".



Of course, I might have just felt really, really good to be on Arielle, my Mercian Audax, again after riding to and from work all week on my LeTour.  


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