Winter to Summer

It was a strange week for riding.  Every day was some combination of cold, wet and windy, and it basically resulted in some shorter than normal rides.  Fortunately the weekend’s forecast was looking better.  It was still pretty chilly Saturday morning when I headed out to meet the Giro wearing knee-warmers, arm-warmers, and a vest.  I knew I’d be hot later, but I really didn’t want to start the weekend off cold.  A number of riders were absent for the Giro because of the Sunny South criterium ovIt was a strange week for riding.  Every day was some combination of cold, wet and windy, and it basically resulted in some shorter than normal rides.  Fortunately the weekend’s forecast was looking better.  It was still pretty chilly Saturday morning when I headed out to meet the Giro wearing knee-warmers, arm-warmers, and a vest.  I knew I’d be hot later, but I really didn’t want to start the weekend off cold.  A number of riders were absent for the Giro because of the Sunny South criterium over in Mobile.  That kept the pace just a bit slower than usual.  As we headed out along Chef Highway I was pretty far back in the long paceline.  Suddenly I saw a cloud of dust and then a rider go shooting off to the right.  Dave had dropped his wheel in to a crack at the edge of the road and went down hard. He was not springing back up onto his feet, so I knew he must have hit pretty hard.  When I got back to him he was still lying on his back in some significant pain.  His helmet was cracked and he was having a lot of pain in his chest.  I figured he must have hit the stem and cracked a rib or two.  Brian listened to his chest and didn’t hear anything to alarming while Jeff called his wife (I think) to come pick him up and get him to the ER.  As it turned out he’d punctured a lung and dislocated his shoulder.  How he didn’t break a collarbone I don’t know.  Anyway, it was a pretty good Giro Ride otherwise, even though I wasn’t feeling all that sharp. So on Sunday I decided to do the northshore ride.  It was supposed to be warmer and sunny, so really, why would I do another Giro Ride if I had a chance to take a ride in the country.  I headed over there solo this time, arriving a little early.  The temperature was probably around 60F with a clear sky that promised to bring us back to summer after practically a whole week of lousy weather.  By 9 amn we would be back to Summer.  A new rider who I didn’t know said he had done one of these rides before and it was nice and easy.  I looked at him, looked around at who was there, and said, “This one won’t be easy!”  Rolan and Steve were on hand or their first northshore ride this year, but we also had John D., Steve M., Chuck B., and a couple of the Midsouth guys.  Indeed, it turned out to be a good ride.  My legs were feeling a little sluggish, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to ride on Monday so I figured I may as well not hold back very much.  Three of the group turned back around Choctaw Road, and then as usual the group split along the Hwy. 439 section.  By the time we were back to Dummyline Road, a couple more riders were ready to take the shortcut back. There was an increasing south wind this whole time, which made the last half of the ride all that much more difficult.  As we approached Enon on the way back I started to go for the Enon sign sprint but hit the shifter with a little too much excitement, dumping it all the way down to the 11 and losing the draft entirely.  I think we were down to only three riders by the time we had come over the firetower hill and for some reason we decided to take a different route back, skipping Tung Rd. and instead going all the way to Kenzie Road before turning off of 437.  It was a nice change to the usual 4 mile death march to the cars.  Overall I was feeling OK, but not as good as I’d felt a couple of weeks ago. Tomorrow I have to drive up to Baton Rouge for an all-day engineering workshop, so there’s no way I’ll be able to ride.

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