14 December 2015

A May Ride In December?

I was riding in shorts and a short-sleeved top.

No, I didn't start my holiday visit to my parents in Florida early.  (Actually, in their part of Florida, there is no guarantee I'd have such weather at this time of year.)  Rather, I took a ride which I've ridden (and written about) a number of times:  to Point Lookout and back.

The temperature reached 20C (68F).  For some perspective, the old record for this date was 16C (62F), which was surpassed before 11 am.

Interestingly, it didn't feel as warm as I'd expected.  Some of that had to do with the wind, which, coming from the southeast, I pedaled into most of my way out. Also, riding by the sea, where local water temperatures are around 10C (50C) makes the air seem cooler.  For perspective, in early August, the water temperature reaches 23-24C (72-75F) and in early March falls to 3-5C (37-40F). 

On such a pleasant Sunday, I wasn't surprised to see more people than one would normally expect to see at the beaches.  They weren't swimming, but I noticed that some people weren't wearing much more than I was.  Also, a pretty fair number of young men (mostly) clad in wetsuits rode the waves.

I don't mean to boast when I say that even though I was pedaling into winds of 8 to 12KPH (14 to 20 MPH) most of the way out, I was pedaling rather effortlessly in my big chainring and on the sixth and seventh gears of my nine-speed cassette.  Am I starting to regain some of my old strength?  Or was it because I just felt so good to be on my bike on such a beautiful day?  I would be happy to accept either explanation, or no explanation at all.

Everything was so lovely that even seeing brown and yellow stems and leaves didn't seem so discordant with the spring-like warmth. 

Nor did the almost-winter light or the shortness of the day.

And I was riding Arielle.  Even a name like that is enough to make me feel as if I'm flying.  But, she's a great ride and, of course, the wind into which I rode on my way out pushed at my back and carried me home.

I really should have been grading papers.  Oh, well.


1 comment:

  1. Justine, those wind speeds do not look right.... Wet, cold and windy here.