We are back on schedule with our riding. (Out on our road bikes four days a week.) The weatherman even treated us with a preview of things to come: heat, humidity, and rain. The Miami summer trifecta.
We've been getting back to the routines we follow when we ride by ourselves. No drafting. No whining and no bitching.
The no drafting thing is just safer, especially with distractions and traffic. I aim for 3 to 4 bike lengths between us. Following too closely is a major cause of car accidents. It's the same on a bicycle. When you are riding a bicycle in a paceline, drafting definitely makes riding easier. But, since we aren't racing or planning a pro career, why tempt fate when you aren't on a paceline ride? I just chalk the extra difficulty up to "training" - which makes work sound so much more smug and upmarket.
And the "no whining, no complaining" routine? That also is a safety rule. Whining and complaining may be one of the most overlooked causes of homicides among married riding companions.
Our last ride was a case in point. We had spent several hours pedaling furiously, dodging rain clouds (successfully), and finally were within a mere 12 miles of the ride's end. Al (who was up front leading the parade as usual) said he was going to do a series of local loops in the residential area near our home. That way if it started raining hard, we'd be close to home. OK, that sounded reasonable. But when we started the loops, my undercarriage did not like the raggedy road we were taking. Ouch! Ouch! So I whined about it. A bit too much. Suddenly Al signaled a stop. We stopped. He turned and gave me "The Look." "The Look" is that flat-eyed slightly squinted gaze that signals a man close to the edge. Oops. Time not to bicker. Time to quickly negotiate a new plan! Which we did. No weapons were drawn. No blood was spilled. We pedaled off briskly for a loop to Key Biscayne.
Routines are a very, very good thing.