Sunday, January 14, 2007

Florida: Day Three

Today we finally went out for breakfast before the ride. We met up at a local diner type place and had a normal breakfast. With weather expected to be in the 80's with mainly sunny skies, it looked to be a good day to do a long ride - as well marked century route.

Within 90 minutes of our start though it all changed. First, Mandy flatted. Gary changed it faster than I thought possible. Then the clouds started getting dark. It misted at first then got wetter and wetter. Eventually we ended up soaked. The other three got a paper and plastic bags to put some layers on. The Boy Scout I am (not really) I had some cool weather gear. Wearing my trusty vest and arm warmers on top of an SS jersey and shorts, I felt reasonably good. Incidentally it was the first time I ever rode in arm warmers in my life - a couple decades after starting cycling seriously!

Although I don't enjoy starting in wet weather, if it does get wet and it's not too cold, I seem to feel a lot better relatively speaking. Accordingly I managed to pull a lot more than before. I said to Gary that either he must have been really sick or I was doing a bit better since we ended up sitting at the front together a lot.

After 3 hours of misty rain it finally stopped. And my legs started to fatigue a bit. Our chatty group ended up pretty silent by the time we hit about 80-odd miles. I knew I was riding on borrowed time and rode as steadily as possible to get back to the car as soon as I could. Alas, at about 98 miles my legs suddenly faded - literally about a half mile from the car. I didn't know exactly where we were so I sat up - and then saw the cars. I rolled in a bit behind Gary, Mandy, and Gene. Gary had taken all the major "sprints" and pretty much sewed up the unofficial sprinter's competition, even with a bum crankarm that kept working loose.

Afterwards we had a huge dinner at the Gainesville Ale House (a lot of nachos and a 20 ounce Porterhouse steak) and watched Blood Diamonds. The flick was pretty intense and I recommend it for anyone.

My legs seemed a lot better than last year. I hope that this work now pays off and lets me do some work in California next month. For now though, I just need to recover so I can do a good ride tomorrow. We plan on taking it easy and do about four hours.

Now for some sleep.

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