Those four words were grumbled by us many times during the ride yesterday as an unseasonably frigid cold front blasted it’s way down the Florida peninsula. Ride time temperatures were in the mid 40’s with a projected high of only 64 degrees. If that wasn’t bad enough, there was a wind chill advisory issued, calling for values in the low 30’s! Combine that with the 20+ MPH wind generated while on the bike, and you had the makings for a very cold ride…hence the constant “Holy crap it’s cold” comments.
I broke out my base layer and tights, and even opted to wear my rain shell jacket for some protection against the wind. Perhaps not the smartest choice as it turned me into a rolling sauna by mid ride…although technically a breathable shell, it’s a poor substitute for a good technical jacket. Being soaked through by sweat on a cold and windy day is not a good thing. Perhaps Santa will finally bring me that Gore Phantom jacket I’ve had my eye on…while he’s at it, a good pair of wind stopper gloves and ear warmers would be greatly appreciated too.
The gang assembled at Sweetbay, as usual, and headed down Tree Line to rendezvous with a few more riders at the Daniels intersection. Isobel was breaking in her new Christmas toy, a very sexy, all black Cannondale SuperSix with a Di2 gruppo and deep Mavic Cosmic wheels…gold star for Jimmy Claus. As luck would have it, she got a front puncture on her inaugural ride. Curiously I also had a front flat on my first ride of “The Mistress”, so I guess it’s good luck…like rain on a wedding. Gus also had a flat on his new tubeless tires. His second one since going tubeless, so either tubeless is not all that it’s cracked up to be, or they were mounted incorrectly…I’m going to have to reexamine tubeless rims as I’d like to upgrade to more aero wheels this coming year.
We eventually made it to Panera huddling around the sunny spots outside while enjoying some hot coffee and tea. While gabbing away, we heard a brief loud hiss…the tell tale sound of a tire going flat. Sure enough, it was Isobel’s front tire again. It’s not everyday when you see/hear a tire blow out while a bike is resting riderless, leaning against a tree. As it turns out, her tire was sliced, so it was off to the Trek store for a replacement before starting the cold and windy return ride home.
Amy an Jack, joined us for the return ride. Poor Amy, the cold had reduced her vocabulary to just two words, “Holy Crap”…which she must have repeated at least a dozen times on the ride over to the Trek store…and mind you, it was just on the other side of the shopping complex! We all huddled up again in the sun while we waited on Isobel’s tire repair. While waiting, Gus barked out orders for the return ride, giving explicit instructions/warnings for the faster pullers to stay in the back and the bigger riders to stay up front and punch a hole in the wind. He got no complaints from me as I would get to draft all the way back. Good thing too as it was very windy and frankly, colder all the way back home.
Once back, we all parted ways, but not before making plans for riding on Sunday and getting in another hot drink break at Starbucks. All in all, it was probably not the best choice to ride in the cold, especially since we were all a bit under-geared for the conditions. Regardless of the low temperature and the flats, the warmth and friendliness of all the gang made it a fun, if chilly good time!
Update…I had plans to ride with Amy, Jack an a few others this morning, when I received the following message from Amy…
I thought today was a “Holy Crap!” Ride…tomorrow is going to be COLDER!!! Holy crap. I’m ditching. No stinking way. I’ll run when it warms up! Have a good ride. bundle up!!
I took a quick look at the weather app and saw the following…
Guess who decided to stay home too!
Route: Frickin Cold Coconut-40
Ride Time: 2:18:32
Stopped Time: 2:32:17
Distance: 39.11 miles
Average: 16.94 mph
Fastest Speed: 26.03 mph
Ascent: 3685 feet
Descent: 3723 feet