* Disclaimer: In the interest of full disclosure, please note that I am writing with an expired literary license, so it's entirely possible that some parts of the tale below have been *slightly* exaggerated. Then again, maybe not!
It was a beautiful morning. I had read all the new posts in the Fifty Plus forum, and had decided to get in a long ride. Forty miles minimum, fifty miles was the goal, and sixty two miles if I was up for it. First really long ride (for me) since putting city slickers on my MTB.
Bike-racked over to Coronado, and began the ride in gorgeous sunshine, deciding to leave my long sleeved t-shirt in the car and just wear the short sleeved bright red one. Started out at the ferry landing, and quickly pedaled over to the Hotel Del Coronado, a beautiful sight.
At this point I decided to steam down the Silver Strand, a 9 mile two lane paved bike trail that goes from Coronado to Imperial Beach. The ride was nearly effortless. I was averaging over twenty miles per hour on the bike, a personal best. My mind soon cleared of all the clutter, and thoughts skipped gracefully from women to food and back to women. In other words, I was oblivious to the fact that I had a tail wind pushing me along.
Soon, I was in Imperial Beach, and just kept going on surface streets. Before long, I had entered Mexico, and I pedalled all the way down the country, until I reached Central America. When, at long last (although it only seemed like an hour or so) I reached the Panama Canal, I decided it was probably a good time to turn around and head back to Coronado.
It was merely coincidence I think that the sun chose this time to move behind clouds, dropping the temperature considerably, and making me wish I had not left the other tee-shirt in the car. But that, it turns out, was not the worst of my troubles. The unnoticed wind was now a HEAD wind, and, I swear, much stronger than before. I could see pedestrians leaning 30 degrees into the wind, just to stand upright.
Add to this the fact that visibiliity was excellent, and I could actually see the Coronado Bridge, miles and miles up ahead, as I slowly made my way back. Shivering from the cold, downshifting to fool the wind, and realizing I was now fighting gravity (as anyone with a globe can easily point out -- going south from San Diego, one is moving DOWN the curve of the planet, but moving north toward San Diego, one is moving UP the curve -- much more difficult!), I slowly made my way back to my starting point.
Luck was not a lady -- I couldn't find an open tee-shirt shop anywhere along the way ("Hey! What have you got in a long sleeve XL under $10?). The sun did finally make an appearance, and the wind eventually tired of torturing me. Back at the starting point, I was just under 31 miles -- so I did a couple of laps around the parking lot, got to the "half-metric-century," and called it quits.
To add insult to injury, I found a cafe where I ordered a hot dog which was horrible.
On the other hand, Mexico was a wonderfully, scenic country and I recommend you all visit when you have the chance!