…while visions of sugar plum calories danced in my tummy.

Young Pup, the ride instigator, cruising through Naples with the wind at his back.

With Christmas behind us, there is always that small matter of working off all those extra Holiday cookies we so eagerly munched on while waiting on Mr. Clause’s arrival, not to mention all the other decadent delectables and libations we consumed. I know I was feeling that post-prandial, comatose-like, digestive lul way too many times over the last few days…so what better way to burn off those extra sugar-plum laden calories than a metric century.

That’s exactly what Adam, AKA the Young Pup…sorry Adam, everyone gets a goofy identity on this blog, and I did as we cycled down the windy, wide boulevards of SW Florida to Naples Cyclery’s Fit & Fuel Cafe.

Young Pup came up with the idea right before the Christmas break, starting a FaceBook thread among some cycling friends. We eventually settled on the date, today, and the route, a 66 mile ride from the start of Tree Line Blvd to the Fit & Fuel Cafe down in Naples and back. By the way, I have to put in a plug for both Naples Cyclery and their cafe. If you are ever looking for fast, exotic, lust-worthy road bikes from Pinarello, Cervelo, Look, Guru, Orbea and many more, look no farther than Naples Cyclery. They are well stocked, knowledgable and very friendly. Best of all, they have a great cycling themed cafe right next door…the perfect place for a mid ride break.

Now before all my cycling friends jump on me, I’m still Trek roadie at heart, but that Pinarello Dogma is looking mighty sexy!

Palpitations commencing in 3, 2, 1

We met up at the Sweetbay Market at 7:30. Unfortunately, Young Pup’s friends were no shows leaving just the two of us (Señor J is still AWOL until the start of the new year). Regardless of our numbers, any ride is a good a ride, so we headed southward down Tree Line into an unexpectedly stiff wind. Since the plan was to ride 60 plus miles, we tackled the wind riding side by side at a steady 18-19 MPH spin. Curiously we really didn’t see any other riders out there today, which is odd, especially south of Coconut Point. We did run into one gentleman, but he only rode with us a few blocks as our planned route differed from his.

We eventually made it to the Fit & Fuel Cafe where we enjoyed a freshly made parfait followed by some ogling of the amazing machines at Naples Cyclery. We were really looking forward to the return ride as the wind, which plagued us all the way down there, was going to favor us all the way home, and with an approaching storm, it was only going to get stronger. In fact the wind was so strong, that at one point I actually set my fastest ever riding speed at a blistering 42.24 MPH. Granted I had a 20 MPH tail wind, but it felt amazing. All my mind could think of while seeing my bike computer registering previously unknown numbers was Woody yelling “Ride like the wind, Bullseye”.

The combination of strong tail wind plus surprisingly fresh legs made for a high speed return. Good thing too as there was a fast approaching storm. I actually felt a little guilty leaving young pup behind on many occasions, but when the legs are in the zone, let them run wild. The guilt was diminished at stoplights though, as I am not one to drop a rider in my group.

We just beat the storm in, catching just a little refreshing sprinkle in the last few miles. In fact the rain almost started on cue as I was hanging my bike on my garage wall…thanks for cooperating Mommy Nature. All in all, a really fun ride, with a good cycling friend. Hopefully Young Pup will be able to join Señor J and myself more regularly on future rides.

So, what about those sugar-plum calories dancing in my tummy? At least 3,548 of them were sent to the fiery mitochondrial ovens. NowI just have to burn off the other few thousand I had over the Christmas break.

Route: Fit & Fuel metric century
Ride Time: 3:30:09
Stopped Time: 1:22:58
Distance: 65.00 miles
Average: 18.56 mph
Fastest Speed: 42.24 mph
Ascent: 918 feet
Descent: 1040 feet
Calories: 3548

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