Today is my birthday and a regular riding day for my group. Knowing the planned ride was about 50 miles, I joined a friend for a 14-mile loop around our neighborhood before the group took off, ensuring I'd get in at least the requisite 61 miles.
Once we finished our loop, we met up with the rest. Here is most of the group just starting out. We had a peloton of 14 riders. Note they are all in Hi-Vis. I stick out in my orange windbreaker.
The group splintered after a few miles, with three of us taking off on our own to get the miles in. We ride on the famous American River Bike Trail for a few miles, which is always fun. We took our break at a popular-to-cyclists bakery in Folsom, CA. There was no pie available at that time, so I had this Apple blueberry gallette with a raspberry Snapple Ice Tea.
And here's me waiting for the others to get ready to go. I'm wearing the Beatles' "Sea of Holes" jersey my daughter gave me as a birthday present. The optical illusion of the holes makes me look fat.
As we were sitting outside enjoying the sun, we heard a definite "Pssssssssst". It sounded like a tire flatting, and sure enough, Bob's tire just went, a hole at the stem. At least, it didn't happen while going down a hill.
We were at 37 miles. The first part of the ride seems mostly down hill, but our neighborhood and the bakery are at almost exactly the same elevation. Go figure.
We had enjoyed minimal wind so far, but the return trip became epic, as we fought a headwind that was just this side of miserable. Side winds were no fun, either. We took turns pulling and really didn't push our pace too much. Our final average speed was only 14.3 mph. We got a bit of relief on this bike trail, which we followed for about 6 miles. It goes under highways and parkways and is really very nice.
After fighting a windy uphill, we come to this drop. 12-13%. There were a couple of 20-somethings doing hill repeats on it. If you look off to the horizon, you can see my house. See it? It's that one right there. Of course, the picture doesn't do it justice.
While it won't stand up in court, here is "proof" I rode 61 miles.
Truth is, the ride was really 70.07 miles. I've ridden 6 days in a row for a total of 284 miles. I think I'll take tomorrow off. Lawns are called to be mowed.
Ain't retirement great?