Boy did I ever luck out with the weather today! There were very scary black clouds looming over the mountains to the west. I wasn't sure exactly when they'd start to make their way to the east.
I started out my ride with uber-triathlete Richelle. As we were leaving her house we were having more discussion on what we were wearing. Seriously, you'd think we were heading out on dates or something! We were concerned about the clouds we could see, but her hubbies buddy pointed out that the wind was coming from the north, and the clouds were in the west, so we should be ok. I tell ya, ya learn something new every day! I was thinking, what a brilliant observation - I must make note of that if I'm ever questioning the weather in the future.
My plan was to do the same route as I took last weekend, the Horse Creek / Lochend loop. As mentioned prior, it's my favourite route. Lots and lots of climbing, plus beautiful scenery. You don't have to worry about cars for a good portion of the route as well.
The first part of the ride was pretty good. My legs felt strong and I could almost keep up with Richelle. The headwind was a challenge, but it wasn't too bad. We stopped at the Bottrel General Store for some water, to pet the store cat, and the dog too this time, and then we were off. When we got to Hwy 22 Richelle was pondering going on further. She'd worked the last 13 days straight and ran in the Mothers Day 10 k this morning and was feeling it. I made sure she knew it was perfectly okay to head home - she'd put in an awesome day already, and her body was telling her something.
I think sometimes we forget how much external commitments, such as work or even relationships, can affect our training. I'm a firm believer of listening to the body - if it's telling you it needs a break, then likely you need a break.
I continued on my way, but this time I didn't make the side trip to the golf course. Instead, I just headed straight up Lochend Road.
My legs didn't feel as strong as last week for the last portion of the ride. I think my legs prefer to do my long ride on Saturday, then the shorter, 'harder' ride on Sunday. I just didn't feel I had consistent strength. I had to go into easier gears a bit more often this time. I wasn't too fussed about it, like I said, you have to listen to your body. I kept pushing when I could, and took longer recovery's when I needed it.
On todays ride I got to have a flock of birds fly close enough to my noggin I could almost feel the breeze from their wings (SO cool!), watch some hawks play in the wind thermals (a beautiful sight), have a calf run along the fence with me for a bit, see ducks frolicking in the ponds, and listen to the frogs singing in marshland.
As I turned onto Hwy 1A I got in behind another rider. I tried to keep up, but the legs wouldn't do it. Shame about that, he had a pretty nice posterior. :) The wind had shifted and was now blowing in the from the west, and with it was bringing the dark scary clouds. I managed to make it home before any raindrops came down. YAY!
Today's ride was a bit of a struggle for me, but only in the sense of leg power. Not a big deal though - we all have days like that. I'd love to have consistent stellar days on the bike, but that just doesn't happen. All that aside, it was another great biking day. Nice weather, beautiful scenery and the love of Mother Nature. Can't go wrong there, now can you?!
Peace out my friends.