Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Cold, Wet, Rainy, Awesome.

It seems like the best rides are those in crappy weather with good friends. Today, I woke up, did yoga, and then sat around and was unproductive until almost 2 pm when Robbie and I had class. I was feeling hideously unproductive and sluggish. Right before we left for class, I got an email from Karina asking if anyone wanted to ride this afternoon. I figured why not and emailed her back.

Turns out it was just what I needed. The time was set for a "spirited paced" first bridge ride, and I was committed to going.

Karina, Pat, Don, Mark, Ricardo and I set out (after a mishap with Don's tire delayed us by a few minutes) in the misty gloomy day. We got a few miles in and Mark's tire went flat, leaving us hanging around a gas station parking lot for a few minutes while he fixed it. (Note to self: carry spare tube on these rides! Also, pump.)

It started to rain progressively more, but we endured. At the crazy Bound Brook traffic circle, half of us took the sidewalk, and the more foolhardy (myself included) took the bridge. It has metal grating, and in the rain, Karina and I were wobbling across it nearly falling, scaring ourselves to death. My heart was racing when we finally got over it and all I could think was "oh thank God we stayed upright." I don't want to think about what may have happened if we fell.

Then, the pace picked up. For a while we were a pack, but then Ricardo, Pat and Don started to get ahead. I- again, foolhardy- decided to try to bridge back up alone. So for two miles (ish), the chase was on. I was only a couple hundred yards behind them when they turned in traffic and I had to wait for cars to come. We all grouped back up then, but I was pretty psyched that I kept a pretty steady gap between us the whole time I was riding alone.

We rode together for a while, then hit sprinting again. This time, Pat, Karina and Ricardo started. I was with them until a pothole made Ricardo swerve, and in swerving behind him, a gap opened. It didn't open too much, and I was about 50 yards behind them, but couldn't catch back on.

The rest of the ride was cold and wet and the water splashing off of the tires of the bike in front of you was insane. I've never been so happy to take the turn that brings us to Easton Ave. I led a few times- something that I haven't done often on group rides- and I think that in all, I did really well. My hip and knee were definitely feeling it by the end, but it was well worth it. I needed that kick to get up and get moving. Most of the ride, even the painful catch-ups, I was grinning.

When I got back, I walked in the house dripping wet and freezing cold. Jay looked at me and said, "you look like a human sponge." I klomped back to the porch, wrung myself out, and stood in a hot shower until I had feeling in my toes again.

Not only do I have feeling in my toes, I have a lot of really great feelings about my life (cycling and non-cycling aspects) again! And all it took was a nearly 2 hour ride in the rain to get there.

1 comment:

Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

Hey Molly - thanks for stopping by my blog! What a GREAT ride - epic in many ways :) You're totally right about the rain and fast pace...spot on about the tougher conditions and fast friends. Those are the kind of workouts that you can turn back to when times are tough in a race...way to go!