Since we have our own little corner of BikeForums now, I don't feel too bad posting a minor ride report. So here it goes...
I've been off the bike this week thanks to unusually long days in the lab, mostly because of a one week special lecture series that was going on at work. (Oh well... that means I should have fresh legs, right?) So I decided to take a relatively flat route, ie my Miramar MCAS loop. ~18 miles, no need for a small chainring except in two small inclines on the home stretch. This flat-ish route is where I set my previous best average speed of 16.8 MPH about a month ago.
The ride started out pretty miserably, with a noticeable headwind on the eastward leg. Ouch. At least it would mean a tailwind later, right? So I rode hard in the outbound direction, intending to let a tailwind help me sail home afterward. A pretty uneventful southbound leg saw two cyclists with flat tires--separate incidents--but they assured me they were okay, so I continued on my way. The westbound leg indeed had a nice tailwind, so it was very enjoyable. Nice high speeds with relatively low effort. Then I got pretty tired out by the minor inclines on the northbound home stretch. The second minor incline, a tiny "hill" I usually don't really pay much attention to, hurt today. And I was about 2 MPH slower than usual there. (That's what I get for being off the bike, I guess.) But I got back in 60:58 ride time, for an average speed of 17.7 MPH. Almost an entire MPH faster than my previous best! I didn't think I could get under the one hour mark on this ride this year, but now it's looking like a realistic possibility.
I guess I have my flat ground legs back. Just need to get my climbing legs back before next Saturday's GMR/GRR/Baldy ride. And thanks to all the faster SoCal riders I've had the privilege of riding with. There's nothing like chasing you guys on our group rides to help me push harder and get faster.