Well, Saturday morning found me getting set to put in 30 miles. I was going to ride the now familiar University of North Florida loop. I slept in until 8 to get some sleep. I don’t think I moved all night. I got up and gave the bike a once over and put some air in the tires. I mentioned back on Ride 35 that I was hearing a ticking noise from the rear wheel. I discovered a loose spoke and tightened it up. We’ll see if that fixes it.
I rolled out of the driveway around 8:30 and the weather was fantastic. It was clear and about 67 degrees. I didn’t feel any wind but that would change before the ride was over. I made it about 150 feet and noticed the clicking sound again. I pulled over to give the wheel a once-over again. I couldn’t find anything but did meet a new neighbor whose house I had stopped in front of. I talked to him a few minutes and then headed on with no resolution to the ticking. Rats.
I was about five minutes into the ride when another cyclist pulled up next to me. We exchanged pleasantries as he went by on his Cannondale that was setup for triathlons. He was quickly gone though because he passed me like I was standing still. I was going about 16 mph. I saw him again about 15 miles later going the opposite direction. I saw a couple of other riders and walkers this morning too. The nice weather was bringing them out.
For most of the first-half of the ride I was kind of in a funk where I was really sure how well I felt. I would feel ok for a little bit and then feel exhausted five minutes later. The wind was picking up and at times gave me a pretty good headwind. I kept pounding the liquids and tried to replenish some with a power bar gel. I felt like this for about 3/4 of the ride.
At mile 20 I get to my rest stop for a much anticipated break. While sitting on the bench at the church I decided to give my rear wheel a look again since the noise seemed to get louder in the last five miles. It took me about ten seconds to find a spoke that was really, really loose. I tightened it, looked for others, and found a couple more that were loose. In order to make sure I kept the wheel true I used my brake pads as a makeshift truing stand. It worked pretty good and I didn’t have any other problems.
The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful but much better than the first 20 miles. On the way home I was actually able generate some good speeds above 20 mph. That felt great.
Now, why do stoplights stink? Because when they change to red I have to stop. I must have hit almost every single stoplight throughout my entire ride. It was unbelievable and ridiculous. There’s one stretch where there’s a lot of lights and I’d get stopped by a red light. It would turn green. I’d build my speed back up and get caught by the next one. I’m telling you, it was bad. I don’t think I’ve ever hit that many on this route.
All told I got 30.2 miles ridden in 2 hours and 2 minutes with an average of 14.8. Not bad for me.