Ride #56: Ten Degree Drop

A busy day at work and other locations is best closed out with a bike ride.

After a cold front moved through last night, today was also the first day of fall rearing its cold and blistery head. We’ve had un-seasonably warm weather throughout most of September, so it is a shock to the system when the temps move down into the 50′s. When I left the house for the ride, the thermometer indicated that the temps were hanging around 56F. Couple that with the temperature inside my house at about 64F, and I was chilled to the bone. If I was going to ride – I wanted to be warm.

I was all bundled up with only a few, small patches of exposed skin. Welcome to fall in Minnesota.

I was all bundled up with only a few, small patches of exposed skin. Welcome to fall in Minnesota.

I decided to load up on the clothes for the ride – including double socks, arm warmers, knee warmers, base shirt, jersey, wind-breaker jacket, skullcap, and gloves. I had a little more clothing on my upper body than I should have (I was sweating along my arms due to the combination of the arm warmers and the jacket), but the over-compensation proved valuable as the ride continued. Leaving the house and the first few miles, I found that I was heating up too much and opened up my jacket to stay cool. But, halfway through the ride, I could sense the wind shift from the west and come more from the north with a significant drop in temperature. Over the course of the hour ride, I went from being over-dressed and warm to under-dressed and cold. Rolling into the driveway at 6:30pm was accompanied by mid-40s temperature readings.

I’m glad I over-compensated.

With the cooler weather and a long day behind me, I can say that I really didn’t enjoy the ride. It felt like I was only out to put in the miles (which I was) and didn’t have a clear goal – other than getting home and taking a warm shower. Numbers tell the tale:

  • Tuesday, September 29, 2009
  • departure: 5:30pm
  • duration: 0:58
  • distance: 17.7 miles
  • speed: 18.2 mph
  • odometer: 1192

One of the contributors to the general “suckiness” of the ride involved the song suck in my head. The Song Of The Ride™ (SOTR™) came in the form of the Counting Crows’ Long December. This was due to a poor choice in listening to Cities 97 just prior to the ride. I was in my garage putting a layer of new paint on some closet doors with the radio playing in the background. Damn Cities 97 only plays three different artists – Counting Crows, Eric Clapton, and Norah Jones – so I was destined to get a stupid song stuck in my head. Sure enough, I was stuck with “Long December” and couldn’t shake it. God, I hate when I have a song I despise in my head as I am not only hearing the song play, but I’m also telling myself how sucky the song is. Like I said, the goal became in getting home and getting off the bike.

Speaking of the bike, I was riding the New Steed™ and couldn’t have asked for better performance. After Saturday’s ride, I did a major overhaul to the bike – cleaning and lubricating so that it would perform in tip-tip condition. I still smile as I begin those first few rotations on the ride. It is a great bike (capable of doing things far beyond my abilities), and I consider myself fortunate to have the opportunity to ride such a machine. I often feel silly riding a true racing machine (since I don’t race), but I also feel that I ride it hard and do it some limited justice. It makes me appear a little bit of the “poser”, but I’m old enough to not really care what anyone else would think about my riding.