Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Local Ride that Had It All

Wind.  Rain.  Humidity.  Hot sun.  This was a fun ride that ran us through the full spectrum of Florida ride conditions.

We headed out today for our long ride of the week.  Right now, that means 50 miles.  We're getting used to our new saddles.  (But the jury is still out on them.)  For us, 50 miles is the psychological tipping point for longer rides.  We learned long ago that when you feel dead tired and swear you can't go one more mile, you still have 1-2 hours left in your legs.  So once you can do a comfortable 50 mile local ride, you can do a metric century (or more) if you want to.

The interesting thing about today's ride was the weather.  Temperatures were classic fall Florida weather for our area: 73 at dawn, 85-90 by late morning.  The wind was from the southwest, a direction that brings us warm, humid air.  It was humid.  We set off at around 7:30 a.m., and we chatted for a half hour with new neighbors down the street.  Then we were off.  The sky had been partly sunny, but by the time we hit one mile on the road, dark clouds filled the sky.  "It'll pass," we agreed and pedalled onward.  About 15 minutes later the light rain began.  We continued in light rain for 10 miles.  The rain turned to a light misty sprinkle for a few miles.  Then the clouds grew scattered and bright sunshine kicked the temperature up rapidly.  This mix of misty rain and clouds and some clouds and hot sunshine continued for the first 30 miles.  Then we moved to just climbing temperatures and sunshine.  We felt great but were wet with heavy perspiration when we got home.

Gopher Tortoise

Wild Pigs' Work

Sand Hill Crane
As always, there were interesting critter sightings.  First we spotted a gopher tortoise munching grass near his burrow on the shoulder of the road.  Later we came across newly "plowed" areas which is evidence of wild pigs in the area.  Last, right by home, a couple of sand hill cranes were walking down the sidewalk like an old couple out for a morning stroll.