After such a wonderful ride on Saturday, Sunday in Powhatan was promising to be a very nice ride. Since I usually spend Sunday’s with my husband and he was busy this weekend, I was going to do this ride with friends I hadn’t ridden with in nearly a year!
When I arrived at the ride start, temps were up by about 5 degrees from Saturday morning’s ride. I couldn’t really get comfortable in my coat, vest and wool baselayer, so I shed the coat (bad decision in 32 degree weather). The ride was a loop of about 35 miles. Once I’m 30% into the ride, it’s basically a full commitment. No worries, I do 35 with my shoe laces tied together, right?
1st off, I didn’t know anyone but the ride leader. Riders who are crazy enough to cycle 35 miles in 32 Degree weather, are not necessarily the same folks doing that same ride on Aug 15th. There was only one female on the ride (ahem;0)). and my pace was easily 4mph slower than the rest of the cyclists, which I knew up front would be the case. It wasn’t my intent to cycle with these guys, just to use the ride start time as a motivator to get me out and cycling. We all agreed that no one was going to ride with me. Barry really wanted to , but nobody should have to ride my pace right now, if they are as strong a cyclist as Barry is, and it’s less fun for me, if I feel my pace might be slower than comfortable for my companion. The guys gave me a cue sheet and I headed out. Within the first four miles, I put my gloves on, and settled in, as my body temp found it’s equilibrium between the ambient temp and the furnace burning within. The pastoral setting is one of my favorites and at mile 11, I turned right at an intesection 21 miles from home, and yet, completely unknown to me. Lovely sites. At mile 21, my thermostat went whacky. My buns and other fattie tissue areas were unbelievably cold, and yet my hands and head and feet and underarms were moist and warm. I wasn’t wet enough to be cold from sweat. I was cold because I had shed the jacket, instead of the vest. Nothing I was wearing was protecting me from the wind.
I tried to call my husband, to see if he might meet me somewhere and pick me up, but the setting was so isolated that I had no reception. The situation wasn’t dangerous, just uncomfortable. There were homes and churches everywhere, and I could change my circumstances by stopping and asking for help. I cycle on another 6 miles and tried my husband again. My fattie tissue areas were very painfully cold now, and knowing how cold they were, I knew that quickly they were going to cool down the hard working muscle tissue. I probably needed to get out of the cold.
John answered and we agreed on a meeting point just 3 miles down the road, he was to bring a down coat for me and take me back to my car. Two miles further down the road, and I really felt like I couldn’t make it. Probably had nothing to do with my “physical” state. I knew the ride was over and had quit mentally. I did however reach the meeting point, and John had superheated my down coat and the truck. Yay John. It was a bit overwhelming physically, and we had to warm me up a little slower than that, but I did thaw nicely.
30 miles and another great lesson.
Please know that had I really been in “trouble” I would have stopped for help at someone’s home. People are good, and I am not stubborn enough to let myself be in danger unnecessarily.
Make your own breeze and remember: if you’re not having fun; you’re in the wrong gear!