It has been TOO long since I have posted a blog entry. For that, I apologize. To be perfectly honest with you, I just didn't feel like doing one. BUT, after surviving a debilitating snow storm, and travel to New York and Chicago... I am back in the routine, and ready for spring.
Last weekend, members of the Severna Park Peloton set out to do another 200k ride. The original date for the ride had to be scratched, because it was scheduled for February 6, and if you look at the snowfall records, you will find that February 6 was not a good day to be riding a bike. So, the new date was February 21st. This was also the date that we had concert tickets to see Terri Clark in Annapolis. The 7:30 start time that the others wanted to do would not work for me, because it took me just under 12 hours to do the 200k in Ashland, and if I started at 7:30 I would not be able to make the concert which was at 7:30 pm. Fortunately, this ride was what they call a permanent (see RUSA website for an explanation of what a perm. is) which can be started at anytime. I decided that I would ride the perm alone, and start at 4:30 in the morning. That would give me a 3 hour head start on the other 7 riders, so if I wound up in a ditch, I wouldn't be there for more that 3 hours! Once I announced that I would be riding solo at 4:30, my riding buddy Mike asked me if I would like some company at 4:30, that he would start early so we could ride together. Of course I welcomed his offer and we met at the starting point at 4:15 a.m. on Sunday morning.
This ride from Crofton MD. to Solomons Island MD had a completely different vibe for me as compared to the Ashland ride in January. It was 26 degrees when we started, which made it 11 degrees warmer that Ashland, but I think because the area and the roads were a little more familiar, I felt more confident and comfortable. Because the temps during the days prior to the ride were above freezing, when we set out from the start we had to be cautious of black ice slicks across the road. I know, this sounds ominous and scarey, but the roads that we were on we very dark, so the lights on our bicycles caused an obvious glare on any ice that happened to be on the road. Mike and I were both able to stay upright on the bikes, and by sunrise, we were already had 20 some odd miles behind us. The rest of the ride was uneventful, with the exception of Mike having a flat at about mile 70 something. We changed the flat, but them Mike realized that the tread on the tire was going the wrong way, so we have to basically change the tire again. 20 minutes later, we were back on our way. We rode through Chesapeake Beach and North Beach to a pastry shoppe called Sweet Sue's. They have good coffee, good muffins and a nice outside area to eat. By the last 4 or 5 miles, I was pretty tired and was ready for the ride to be over. Mike and I finished in just over 11.5 hours. Which was about 30 minutes better than the ride in Ashland.
I made it home, showered and got dressed for the concert. Bev had a salad and pizza ready for me, but I was not feeling like eating. I needed to just sit and relax and let my body settle. So, we put the pizza and salad away and we headed to the concert. Terri Clark is one of my favorite female artists because she has so much personality and she shares it with the crowd. This was the third time that we had seen her, and she has been great each time. She talks and interacts with the crowd, which is what I really like. I don't care how good of a singer you are, if you just get up on stage and sing and not talk us in the audience... I won't enjoy your show. I would see Terri Clark again tomorrow if she was coming to town. That's how good she is.
I slept very well that night as you can probably imagine. I got to sleep in a little bit on Monday, because I was off to our Chicago office on Monday afternoon. Travel is something that I enjoy, but hate at the same time. Especially travel to Chicago, because I stayed in a hotel that was in downtown Chicago. I love opening the curtains just before I go to bed and letting the city lights be my night light. I enjoy walking on the streets to work in the morning and on the way home and seeing the different (and I mean different in every sense of the word) people walking here and there. It is a cool city, but it does take me out of my routine. No bike riding (except on a stationary bike, and if you've looked at my Training log you know that I would prefer to chew broken glass than ride a trainer or stationary bike.) Additionally, I don't have the normal food that I eat readily available, like I do at home. No apple just waiting to be eaten, no 100 calorie snacks nearby in case I am in need of a chocolate fix. You get the picture, it just puts me in a funk. I am back now, and looking forward to spring.
I was fortunate enough to have a bicycle box come open at BWI rail station, which I have rented for the year. This will allow me to ride about 23 miles from home to BWI to catch the train into DC for work. I am hoping to do this 4 days a week, using the 5th day to swap out clothes and necessities at work. I am sure you will hear how that is going in a later blog post. I did ride the route yesterday morning and it is an actually very enjoyable ride. I am hoping that by getting my heart rate up two times a day, I will be able to get the pounds to begin coming off again. With the snow storm and travel I have not lost any weight, but I have not packed on any significant amounts of weight either. I am in a holding pattern, and I am ready to start shedding the last 40 pounds to reach my goal. I am hoping to get that off by the end of May. I need to get peddling. ;-)