That's how I feel right now. Something is BLOOMING and I am an allergy nightmare. Ah, spring. Which isn't until tomorrow. This was made very clear to me yesterday when we went for a very, very brisk Sunday ride. In my mind I thought it would be a brief it's-cold-and-we're-all-still-sick kinda group ride but oh ho ho! Joke's on me.
Because of the torrential rain on Thursday and Friday, we decided to go to Powhite Park, which is about a mile (or so) from our house. Powhite is special for a few reasons: it's really nearby, it's not terribly popular, it drains like crazy. When every other trail in town is mushy, Powhite is dry as a bone, mostly because it's a small wooded park on the side of a hill with a tiny wetlands at the bottom.
I have no idea why it's not more popular, as it's the perfect little storm of fast flats, hill climbs and technical stuff, including a fun series of ravine drop-ins. It's also never crowded and you won't usually get spit on by hikers and trail runners. Here is a short list of cool stuff I've seen at Powhite:
- a whole herd of deer
- beaver-chewed trees
- a snowy owl pouncing on a squirrel (that wasn't cool so much as horrifying)
Anyway, we have a regular group of friends that we ride with on Sunday and we all froze our asses off riding over to the park. I think the high was maybe 50 degrees and it was windy. I'd make a lousy road biker because I hate riding into wind. And near cars. We got to the park and did a warm-up lap that felt like slow death. Legs full of ball bearings. It was the kind of warm-up where I kept checking to make sure I didn't have a flat tire, so slow was my bike.
Ha, don't you love how I blame the slowness on my BIKE. THAT WOULD BE ME. Anyway, after a few laps I started feeling a lot better and we rode at a good pace for another hour. I led the group for a while and that felt good too, though I always over-compensate. Eventually I started getting pretty tired and the consensus was that we'd do one more lap. We did, and then they kept going, right past the gate. Wah? Wah! They missed the gate! It's RIGHT THERE, PEOPLE. OUR TICKET TO LUNCH.
I was (regrettably) getting a little whiny and also a little bit closer to bonk territory than I'm comfortable with. We hit a hill that I can normally climb pretty well and I was so far behind the group that I felt like I was going in slow motion. We rode another lap, and another. I started walking stuff I normally ride because I was so tired I was afraid I'd crash. We finally headed home and I was completely glad I'd skipped the race last weekend because clearly I was not anywhere near race-ready. I am soft, people, and it is sad. We were out for two and a half hours and I felt like I'd been hit by a truck when we got home. I can't wait until the weather gets warm and I can get to that perfect summer bike fitness where you feel like you can ride forever. I miss that.