Wind and Water and Winter Again

A windy morning on the Lakefront I guess that easy ride I did on Monday morning shouldn’t have been so easy because Tuesday morning was rained out entirely, and while I can pretend that old guys like me need more recovery and skipping days must be good, I know better. The value of recovery days depends heavily on one thing – something from which to recover. Tuesday’s rain, of course, ushered in a cold front and by Wednesday morning the temperature was down to the mid-50s, which is probably more A windy morning on the Lakefront I guess that easy ride I did on Monday morning shouldn’t have been so easy because Tuesday morning was rained out entirely, and while I can pretend that old guys like me need more recovery and skipping days must be good, I know better. The value of recovery days depends heavily on one thing – something from which to recover. Tuesday’s rain, of course, ushered in a cold front and by Wednesday morning the temperature was down to the mid-50s, which is probably more or less normal for this time of year, but which was substantially lower than we’ve had for the past couple of weeks. So that morning I dug out the thermal knickers and long-sleeve jersey and headed off in the darkness for the lakefront battling a gusty and unrelenting north wind. Out on the unprotected Lakeshore Drive the wind was a bit worse with waves occasionally crashing over the seawall. I rode eastward over the bridge and across the London Avenue Canal looking for headlights. All I saw were four, and they were coming at me pretty damned fast, so I made a quick u-turn, accelerated up to speed, and latched onto the quartet as it approached the Bayou St. John bridge. Someone surged for the bridge KOM just as Emily, who was at the back, opened up a gap to let me in. I barely caught the draft, but I think she dropped off at that point. Up ahead was Rob, inexplicably on his track bike on such a windy day. Despite the wind and his fixed gear, he was killing us. Brian and Woody were there too, and for the next mile or two all I could do was let them rotate in front of me as I tried to catch my breath. When we turned onto Wisner and picked up a tailwind the speed surged up to 26 or 27 as Rob and Brian pounded the pedals. Woody was clearly suffering, as was I. We came down the overpass at 35 mph, turned onto City Park Avenue, and then the pace eased. Rob pulled off the front and headed home as the rest of us turned back into the headwind onto Marconi. I think we were down to 19 mph for a while. The rest of the WeMoRi was nowhere to be seen. In fact, we didn’t see the remnant of the wind-shattered group until we were already past the Bayou St. John bridge and on our way back. Anyway, that was a pretty good workout, and I was glad I had a tailwind on the way home. So much water Thursday morning it was even colder and I pulled on the long tights for the first time in probably three weeks. It was somewhere in the 49-50 degree range, but with the wind it felt colder, especially once I got up to the levee. As often happens when it’s cold and windy, only Richard and Scott showed up. We rode out to the big dip and turned around there, picking up David from Ormond for a while before he had to turn back. The river has been rising steadily, and will continue to do so for at least the next week. The water is just barely reaching the base of the levee now, but even so the Corps opened up some of the bays at the Spillway this morning to keep things under control.

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