Garmin Data: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/52070810
What a perfect day for commuting home by bicycle!
Warmer than it usually is this time of year. I left work early to make sure I got home before dark. I pulled out of the parking garage a few minutes after 4 pm. The sun was still high in the sky and the temperature was almost 80 degrees. There were numerous big, fluffy clouds in the sky over the mountains. A few of them seemed to have rain-maker qualities to them, but most of the ones up north towards the farm looked peaceful enough. I wasn’t worried about getting wet. There was a light swirling wind and it was hard for me to figure out if I was going to get hindered or helped by it. I didn’t much care. It was not a strong wind (only 5-10 mph) and everything else was just soooo perfect, a little wind was not going to ruin my ride.
As it turned out, once I got out on my route and was heading north, it was clear that it was a “beneficial” wind. Scooter was moving along at a very brisk clip. I felt fresh and gave a little extra effort too. At the first 10 mile mark my bike computers had us slight over a 20 mph (moving time) pace! That was enough to spark the competitor in me. I continued to push the pace a bit higher than I normally would. My heart rate ranged in the 135-150 range — at least 15 bpm higher than I usually exert on my commute ride. But, it felt good. I felt energized and did not feel fatigued.
The tail wind pretty much ran out by the 20 mile mark — but it was not replaced with a head wind. Instead, the winds shifted and were coming out of the west/southwest. This was OK with me as we rode north along County Line Rd. When we came to the light were we turn left and head west, it was clear that a new personal best was out there for the taking. I hammered up the inclines and re-doubled my effort whenever I felt myself slacking off even the slightest.
The road that takes me into Longmont (CO 66) is a busy road with a very wide breakdown lane/shoulder. About a mile west of town, I had to move closer to the traffic lane that I normally ride because of a large area with broken glass. I was still a good foot to 18 inches to the right of the white line, but a motorist took issue with my position! He honked… I gestured a “What do you want me to do?” with my left arm and shoulder….he swerved onto the shoulder ahead of me and waited to have a few words…. he started in on me right away and I countered with I was 1) still on the shoulder and NOT in the lane of traffic and 2) I would have been even farther over to the right had there not been glass… he wasn’t hearing any of it. To quote him — “Someday you’re gonna get hit, and I’m gonna be happy you did!” — Nice guy, eh? As he drove off, I couldn’t help noticing the bumper sticker supporting Palin. Clearly, there are a number of areas where we would not see eye-to-eye. I wish I’d thought to suggest that if he felt I was at risk on the shoulder perhaps he didn’t feel he could keep his big SUV in his lane and should buy himself a motorized roller skate — or a VW bug! Then again, in situations like these, it is probably to say less than more.
Even with that minor hic-up, the ride was one of the best I’ve had in a long time. I made it home in record time – 1:39:56. Just under 1:40. WOW! I think this mark will stand for a while. The previous record was 1:52 and I was thinking THAT one was gonna be tough to beat.
I feel so fortunate to still be riding to/from work. I know that this can’t last much longer. I’m still thinking of creative ways to extend the riding season. Perhaps I’ll investigate working 11 hours one day and 5 the next. If I only have to work 5 hours — I should be able to leave in time to get home before dark, eh?