The Festive 500, Day 4: Afternoon Delight

A big old blob of weather made us postpone our planned ride out to the islands today, switching it to Sunday. In typical Florida fashion, the rain did not come, although it sure looked like it was going to pour at any second. The strong winds must have kept it at bay. It also kept me at bay as I kept looking out the window to see if I could squeeze in a ride without getting soaked.


I eventually gave in to my cycling pangs right after lunch, thinking that it has been forever since I rode outside of the morning hours. I packed my rain shell, just in case those ominous clouds overhead decided to burst, and set off into the teeth of a very nasty 20 MPH wind. It’s tough enough tackling strong winds in a group, but riding solo gives you no break whatsoever. I resisted my instinct to plow into the wind and shifted into the small cog for some small chain ring therapy, all the while keeping a close eye on all the crazy traffic.

I was surprised at the  volume of traffic, when it dawned on me that it was the post Christmas, present return rat race. I’d suggest gifting a gift certificate if you are unsure what to get someone, but a) many find that impersonal, and b) it also leads to the post Christmas, gift certificate packing rat race, so either way, traffic congestion ensues…well there is always fruitcake 😉

Traffic was exceptionally bad over at Coconut Point. Not only was it overflowing with the post Christmas bargain hunting/merchandise returning/gift certificate packing shopper, but it was filled with the art perusing  crowd, as the art fair was in full swing. I actually had to go into “traffic director” mode many times to coax cars into moving. Needless to say, I skipped the temptation to stop at Panera and headed directly out of the lot and back onto my route home.

The wind was not as bad heading North. Not a bonafide tail wind per say, but it was oblique enough get an occasional push from it. That all changed when I turned into the airport for a few additional miles. To say it felt like I was pedaling uphill would be an understatement,  but this time I was not going to passively spin into it. I dropped into my bars, shifted into the big rig, and stomped angrily, pushing my ticker deep into the anaerobic zone. It was like a right of passage. I was not going to let up until I got to the turn off, holding my speed above 25 MPH the entire time. Curiously the burn felt great…after all, it’s not a good ride unless it hurts at least a little.

By the time I made it home, I racked up 43.64 miles. Tossing that into my handy dandy miles to kilometers app gives me another 70.23 KM against the Festive 500. That leaves me with 206.2 KM, or 128.1 Miles, which have to be completed in 2 days. Looks like I’ll be doing back to back metrics again…..just like last year. Hopefully tomorrow’s island ride will take a big bite out of that number.


Route: A Very Windy Coconut-40
Ride Time: 2:29:04
Stopped Time: 14:57
Distance: 43.64 miles
Average: 17.56 mph
Fastest Speed: 26.81 mph
Ascent: 924 feet
Descent: 947 feet
Calories: 2269

Click for Ride Data


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