Got up early this Labor Day and hit the road on my cyclocross bike headed for Pleasantville and fantasy football domination.
Although I had the best intentions of leaving early I let myself get sucked into the pre-ride planning perpetual circle. You bikers know of what I speak: walking around the house saying, "Oh, I'll grab this, and I'll charge that real quick, maybe I should grab a little of this and take along some of that." AGH! STOP!, Okay now GO, LEAVE ALREADY!
So I got out of the house a little late, but not too bad.
It was almost 21 miles to Joe's house and I gave myself about an 1 hour and 20 minutes. Right away I was concerned about the time. I started a little conversation with myself, "Should've left earlier, Dummy. Don't set too high a pace or you'll be hacking and cramping while trying to draft." And so on.....
My concern was alleviated somewhat when I made good time through Carlisle and up to the S23 junction without a problem. I remembered S23 was a nice stretch of road but forgot that one of the things I liked about it was the hills.
My plan was to hit some gravel cross roads to cut off some distance just south of Palmyra. If you don't know about Palmyra don't feel bad. If you blink you miss it.
I had mentally pegged my trip time estimate based on how long it would take me to get to Palmyra, so when I didn't see it I started wondering how far behind schedule was I? I wasn't seeing gravel roads much either. I did wizz by Grimes Ave and recognized the name from my Google Maps scouting. I thought this was a good sign. Soon enough I rolled up to the 92 intersection and knew I had missed my gravel cut through.
The conversation started in my head again, "When are you going to call Joe? You're late now for sure, Frickin Idiot. Didn't account for the hills, didn't adjust for wind." I92 has a pretty big hill heading into Sandyville. I was not glad to see it. I finally conceded that I was not going to make it on time and stopped to call Joe to tell him I was running behind and ask him to draft Rex Grossman for me. He said I was only about 5 miles away. That was good news. He also said not everyone was there yet - more sweet sounds. With a new, more positive, outlook I took off for S31 which would lead right to Joe's. This road starts with a good climb, but then gives way to a 2-3 mile stretch of steady downhill on buttery smooth pavement. It was just what the doctor ordered.
I rolled up to Joe's house just in front of the last guest to arrive. Pretty darn good, especially after all those self conversations. 24.01 miles, 1,230 feet of ascent, 14.7 mph average.
Sweet bacon wrapped little smokies. I've been thinking about you since S23.
On the way back I took the gravel I missed on the way out. I was liking this better already. "Road closed? You must not get it, this is a cyclocross bike, my friend. The right tool for the job." See, my internal conversation was getting more chipper all the time.
Here's the reason for all the fuss.
Even though my disposition was brighter I did notice it was HOT and I still wanted to make good time back because - get this - I was supposed to ride with Corey out at Easter when I got home.
I was having another little conversation on the way back, "Ugh, pretty tired, gotta ride when you get back too, that's a little much don't you think? Yeah, well you told Corey you would go. Call him, you said you call on your way back. If you wait to get home you can at least rest a little. Sandwich, I'm hungry; shoulda stayed for lunch at Joe's. Hmmm those little smokies were good."
By the time I rolled into home I was pretty spent - 20.8 miles, 1,297 ft ascent, 14.3mph average.
I called Corey, but he had other commitments and had to bail. Me = saved by the bell. From there? Sandwich, shower, no more talkie, talkie - nap.