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Old 01-14-22, 04:28 PM
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It has been a blustery, windy and cold start to the year here in Central Texas; I know I cannot really complain, of course -- the temperature has remained above freezing and the sun has shown itself plenty. Perhaps the weather has just been a convenient cover for my loss of fitness: it has been over 5 weeks since I last rode a century, with a nearly full 3 weeks off the bike in between. Recovering my endurance has been an uphill battle.

When the forecast called for morning temps above 40F and a modest southern breeze (read: warm), I was ready to tackle my monthly century. Part of the excuse for my lack of riding was a change of address; although only a few miles down the road, the move has radically shifted my preferences for routes -- I am closer to the prairies now, and further from the hills. A flattish route should be easy, I thought! I started in a full getup: arm warmers, leg warmers, ear band, windbreaker, and outer-gloves. The outfit was perfect, as I was cold enough to avoid sweating but otherwise quite comfortable. Not trying to burn myself out, I kept the pace leisurely, and checked off the first two hours without a second thought.

The sun was bright and I was making up my route as I went; mostly, I followed familiar roads, but in a new sequence. Then, at just around mile 22, a flat tire. It was warm enough to lose some layers as I set about a repair. I found a small shard of glass in the tire (and removed it), but I couldn't reliably find a matching puncture in the tube; I opted to use my spare tube, but was a bit concerned about my future. Home was only 10 miles away, and always better safe than sorry. I considered calling it a day, but I was rather determined -- it was a gorgeous day! I made my stop at home as quick as possible, using the opportunity for a second breakfast of toast as I grabbed a fresh tube and used the floor pump to set my tire pressure just so.

I stripped a few more layers before leaving home again; it was still cool but the sun was intense and still rising. Doubling over some of the morning's route was inevitable, but it wasn't long before I was forging a new way out into the prairie. Texas is often overlooked when people ask about great cycling locales stateside, but I can assure you, the country roads are par excellence for road riding. I hardly remember any traffic from mile 40 to 70, when I reached Seguin and a much needed service station -- I was losing salt faster than I had anticipated for January!

From Sequin it was a straight shot North to home, which was exciting because the southern breeze had really picked up. I knew I was making good time, and later confirmed a personal record on that stretch, according to Strava. My intuition about the distance home was about right, but my sense was still 'rough'. I arrived just a mile short of a century. It left a good opportunity to roll a few blocks around the new neighborhood, the first time I had taken time to do so.

Perhaps it is a bit late for New Years Resolutions, but I suppose I will plan to keep this up for another year.

Last edited by Bulette; 01-14-22 at 04:32 PM.
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