Logistics kept me from riding with some friends today, so that meant it was just going to be “The Mistress”, myself and the road. It’s been quite a while since I have ridden solo, always preferring to ride with friends for the fun, company and safety, but since the legs were willing, not to mention those 377.1 Festive KM’s still looming large, I headed off down Tree Line into the arms of a stubborn mother nature.
Yes, Mommy Nature was up to her old tricks again, dropping the temperature into a very un-Florida-like 52° F accompanied by a stubborn wind. I actually had to go back in and toss on some tights while I prepped my bike for the ride! It wasn’t bitter (remember we are talking Florida standards here) cold like last Saturday, but it was still cold enough to make it a wee bit uncomfortable.
I had no route plans, nor distance goals in mind, and with no time restraints, I just sort of winged it down Tree Line, meandering about and just enjoying the solitude. The cold wind was in my favor as I headed South, so I detoured through the airport to try and spot some deer and other wildlife. I saw a few wild turkeys, as well as some other waterfowl, but no deer…just cows.
Back on Tree Line, I cruised past the college and over the Don Eslick bridge (perviously known as the I-75 over pass). Eslick doesn’t particularly roll off the tongue, although using it as a verb can get rather creative….for example, “I was riding strong until I got to the overpass, it eslicked me badly”. Now on Three Oaks, I briefly thought about heading over to Coconut Point for the ubiquitous Panera break, but with very fresh legs and the wind at my back, I pressed on to the infamous “wind tunnel corridor” and beyond.
I was tempted to go all the way to Vanderbilt beach, but I settled on North Collier Regional Park instead, after all, the more I headed south, the longer my return battle with the wind would be. I was shocked to see some people at the Sun-N-Fun Lagoon water park, splashing and zipping down water slides in the cold. Obviously these were snowbirds or vacationers from the great white north, as no sane Floridian would be swimming in these temperatures…and yes my triathlete friends, that includes you….after all I did say sane ;). A quick stop by the facilities at the soccer fields for a quick besoin naturel, followed up by a quick power bar break, and I was back on the road, fighting a rather stubborn headwind all the way back home.
For those that know me, headwinds tend to piss me off a bit, resulting in tendency to pick up the pace significantly. I figure the quicker you go, the faster you get done with them. Unfortunately this is often to the chagrin of my fellow group riders, but with no one to whistle me down, I dropped into my aero bars and just started madly mashing the pedals. By the time I got to the “wind tunnel” I had an epiphany to just relax and enjoy the ride back home, after all, there was no rush. So I got out of the bars, sat tall in my seat and slowed it down…for about 5 minutes and then I was back in the bars blasting away. I guess I’ll never learn to play nice with the wind .
So, my solo ride racked up 63.69 miles which is 102.5 kM’s, leaving me 274.6 more Festive kilometers to complete before the 31st. Pretty good dent today.
Route: Metric Century
Ride Time: 3:35:32
Stopped Time: 31:19
Distance: 63.69 miles
Average: 17.73 mph
Fastest Speed: 28.49 mph
Ascent: 1437 feet
Descent: 1497 feet