The weather is still with in the perfect band of simplicity of what to wear. Today's ride I took a windbreaker jacket, leg warmers, helmet liner, glove inserts, jersey and light wool long sleeve. (Insert after reading Tom's blog) --> clothing requirements for us 'mature' riders' that is. Most items removable if the temperature rises during the ride. I've said this before but Iowa and much of the midwest has only two seasons of bike riding, Sprummerfall, and Winter. Sprummerfall lasts from mid march to usually through November. In extreme winter's freezes is where what to wear becomes an exact procedure, I know a half dozen riders who have suffered frost bite by misjudging these conditions. But for today's condition the weather has forgiveness if I forget something.
It ended up drizzling for most of gravel metric #69 today. I tried a waterproofing product on my rain jacket, it helped, slowing the rain creeping inside my jacket, I never got totally soaked like last week.
I'm riding along, holding my pace, not paying attention, and I get passed on the trail. A female rider, less then half my age. It was easy to see she took her bicycling seriously. I was still in jacket, long sleeve liner, and jersey with the temp being only 50 yet, with drizzle. She was in a sleeveless top and over the knee riding shorts, and showing a sweat soaked upper torso. Riding hard in a tucked aero dynamic position on her Hardtail bike pushing a fast pace. Riding as long as I have in this town, I figure I know most serious bikers either by face, name, or friend, and this one I have never seen before. Perhaps and out of towner visiting and getting in "her ride"
So old egotistical guy that I am, I said to myself let's see how long I can hold on to her rear wheel. So now with my heart rate 90% of max I was following along 100 yards back, for several miles. I knew I was close to maxed out, but for the sake and honor of AARP members everywhere, I had dignity and honor to uphold.
Then it happened. She started to slow down, ah ha, my grueling pace wore her down. I caught up and said, proudly, "passing on the left," and that I did. Now she was no longer in my rear view mirror, I kept this insane max pace up for a couple of more miles to guarantee my victory. I throttled down a bit, to keep my heart from exploding, maintained a 80% max pace, and thought to myself, today is going to be a great work out.
Checked my rear view mirror again, nobody there, I had won "the race"
Time slipped by me, and my side vision caught a fast moving object on the left, and then flying by me, and I mean flying.
It was her again, this time wearing the wind breaker she had previously tied to her waist. It was then I realized that she didn't slow down because of the pace I was holding, but she stopped to put on her windbreaker jacket, and then crush me.
Now, I realized this was dead serious. I needed to stop and take off my jacket, tuck it in my back pack, I was overloading on sweat with my jersey and wool undergarment on also. I was going to lock in and catch this speed demon. Now I am holding 19-21 mph on wet gravel, looking for this speedster on every straight away. Riding as hard as I can manage and not totally bonk out. Every corner I rode through, I was suspecting to see her rear wheel.
I finally did see her again, this time coming at me. She had went her distance and was returning back, we saluted, and we flew by each other. Today she won this race. Such is the world of bicyclers and my "secret races."
Over all I got a great pounding work out in today, I'm whipped as we speak. I anticipate and need a good night's recovery and tomorrow bang out another dirt metric.
If all goes well, I'll metric tomorrow, and Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. Still holding out hope for One Hundred, metric dirt centuries this year.
Saw this camp of Dalia Lama's on today's ride minding their own business and not the least bit interested in the bicyclist sneaking up taking pictures.