After a day off to celebrate Christmas…or more correctly, eat and drink to excess, stay up far too late, tear open lots of presents, and then spend the rest of the day playing with all the new toys Santa brought, it was time to get back on the bike and keep chipping away at the Festive 500 miles.
The Pipanator…yes the very same one who is an expert roadside flat repairer, shot me a text about joining her and friends on a ride out to Ave Maria. With plenty of “Festive” kilometers still waiting to be pedaled away, I gladly accepted the invitation, after all it is always more fun to cycle with others than alone. Unfortunately only three of us were willing/able/available to go on the ride, not the best idea with the winds whipping up to 20+ MPH today, so we shifted gears and headed out to Coconut Point to join the Trek group ride down to Naples.
Eight brave souls showed up to tackle the elements. Although the temperature had returned to a much more acceptable range, the day was to be extra windy with forecasted gusts well above 20 MPH. Luckily though the wind direction played mostly to our favor as we only had some headwinds on the initial southern leg of the loop, and by the time we had reached the Vanderbilt Road sprint point, it was all in our favor, especially once we were headed back north. Nothing brings on a bigger smile than a strong tailwind while riding back home…it was like being on cruise control.
The ride was marred by a solitary flat…there has been an abnormally high number of flats these last few weeks, odd since the roads are very well kept…just a few short blocks away from the rides end. Other than that, it was a quick fun ride with a lot of great cycling friends. The 30.8 miles didn’t put much of a dent into the Festive Kilometer count, with 377.1 KM’s (234.3 Miles) left to ride before the 31st. Hopefully the winds will be a little more behaved for the remaining miles.
Route: Trek Group Ride
Ride Time: 1:35:18
Stopped Time: 27:09
Distance: 30.84 miles
Average: 19.42 mph
Fastest Speed: 47.77 mph
Ascent: 564 feet
Descent: 540 feet