This weekend was supposed to be an early season century for me. Uh, yeah, no. Thanks to some nasty thunderstorms off the coast of Delaware/Maryland, winds were forecasted at 15-20 mph and boy were they ever.
Mind you, I’ve ridden in some nasty headwinds during my end of the season century in just about the same area of Maryland so this was expected. I haven’t done a distance greater than 50 miles this year as here in the Northeast, it been too cold/wet and I was going to be okay with any distance I could get out of my legs at this point.
What wasn’t expected was temperatures near 90 with humidity at 100%.
What was truly serendipitous is when we arrived at the registration tent in Bethany, DE, we were met with: “What are you guys doing here?” from a gentleman that approached my group of three.
Lo and behold, my two mates and I all had a connection to one person, Dr. Leo, although none of us knew it. Dr. Leo had been a regular to my morning cycling classes until about six months ago (life got in the way, he says), Stacey knows him because he’s her children’s orthodontist and Andrew had a nasty spill on his bike several years ago and Dr. Leo saved his teeth.
I stayed hydrated and didn’t push too hard, even though Dr. Leo and I did drop our slower mates early on; not that we meant to, they were just slower with the winds. I demonstrated to Leo the benefits of drafting and the echelon but the wind, heat, and humidity took a toll on us, although we kept a respectable 15 mph average over 53 miles in a little over 3 hours.
What did surprise me is that Stacey and Andrew went on to ride 77 miles, pushing on until after 3pm (we started at 7:30am). I could have eeked out another 10 to make it a metric but have to and want to are two very different things.
I did take a peek at my Strava and I could see the parts of the route where we dropped below 14mph but it wasn’t often and was either due to the wind or for crossings and traffic.
Showing my colors #TwinSix #FatCyclist.com