I awoke at 2am to prep for a double century through the Adirondacks to Utica to visit family. Left the house by 3:30am and rolled slowly through town letting my body and senses adjust. Everything felt off – legs, core, mind. I pushed on to Charlotte and Vergennes knowing that there are always high and low points on long rides – and with an early morning start I shouldn’t put too much pressure on myself to be moving quickly. Usually things sort themselves out as soon as I warm up and the sun makes an appearance.
There was the slightest crossing headwind and a fog in the air as I moved through Shelburne and Charlotte. The flats all felt false and the rollers on Greenbush were beating me down. I tried not to look at my computer – but my speed was well below normal for the effort I was putting out. I rolled into Vergennes about 40 minutes off my schedule – just 30 miles into the ride. I took a seat on the front porch of a bank, put on all the clothes I had and ate one of my PB&J sandwiches. I was cold and clammy and wanted to sleep right there. Couldn’t focus and felt out of it. Began extrapolating my speed and the terrain ahead – also knowing that there was likely to be rain and wind most of the day. Unable to shake the chill and the soreness and the mental offness I opted to roll back home – which felt about as daunting as finishing the ride to Utica. I slogged back north, averaging about 8-10-12 miles an hour on fairly tame terrain. I’m pretty sure I could have rolled into a ditch and slept with the goats and the sheep. All I wanted to do was get warm and snuggled and sleep for a week. I stopped at the Red Brick store in Charlotte for some coffee and napped on the bench for 10 minutes. Despite the warming temperature and the spotty sunbeams that warmed my face my body still felt cold – chilled to the core. I was wearing a base layer, wool jersey and my rain jacket fully zipped. I struggled on to Shelburne and enjoyed the relatively low traffic on Rt. 7 into town. Zagged down to the bike path and spun home in the little ring. A stop at the bagel cafe for some breakfast and a short jaunt on NASCAR North Avenue and I made it home. I covered about 60 miles. It simultaneously feels like far less and far more.
I’ll have two or three other excuses to repeat this ride. I tweaked the route from last years successful attempt to explore some new roads and some slightly more remote terrain – so I’m looking forward to having a good day on the bike.