Sunday, January 6, 2008

Three and a Half Hours of Fog

In the hopes of competing in one short endurance event in the upcoming season, I did some endurance training today. Our team ride was in Jackson, and we met at Jake's house to ride through town on our way to the Falling Water Trail. The temperature when we started was about 45, but it was foggy and misty and overall pretty damp. Luckily, I was able to borrow a fender and some shoe covers, which each helped tremendously my efforts to stay dry.

We had a fair turnout, but not as a good as I was expecting, given the temperature. Bob, Barry, Tom, Scott, Jake and I all went out. The first two miles or so were on the road through downtown. Then we turned off onto an intercity bike path. The bike path got icy pretty quickly, and by the time we got to the actual Falling Water Trail, I was really nervous about the ride. I didn't think I could ride the whole way on that ice or I was going to be miles behind the group. However, as soon as we started the Falling Water Trail, everything changed. The trail was paved last November and is wide and smooth. It was also, remarkably, clear of ice. It was wonderful. I was still riding slower than most of the group, but I did have a chance to chit chat occasionally, as whoever was leading stopped and waited for the rest of the group every once in a while.

It was kind of a gloomy day, but I stayed pretty warm and we had a fun time. We even passed some lakes where we saw some guys out ice fishing. Riding home in the near dark was a little hairy, particularly since I neglected to take my eyeglasses and I couldn't see very well. We made it back okay, though, and on the way back through the icy parts, I seemed to be riding a little better. I think all of these different experiences that are out of the ordinary (ice, snow, etc.) will all contribute to helping make me a better rider.

We ended up riding for 3 1/2 hours total. I think we went about 30-32 miles, judging from trail markings and bike computers. That's a pretty slow pace, but like I said, we did some waiting for each other, and the icy parts weren't particularly fast. I was toast by the end, but I made it and I felt a nice sense of accomplishment.

No comments: