After having three straight days off the bike I was ready to ride again. I wasn’t sure what to expect because of my short layoff but I was optimistic.

5:00 AM came bright and early and I was ready. I had a new set of bibs and a shirt come in the mail yesterday so I was eager to try them out. I’d also installed a new front light to increase my visibility to oncoming traffic. The air was a little chilly this morning but not bad. Once I got to spinning I warmed up quickly.

My first long straightaway I was cooking. I was averaging around 14 mph which is about what I saw on my last couple of bicycle rides. Traffic seemed rather light this morning and I wasn’t complaining. As I neared my first turn I couldn’t believe how good I felt. The bibs felt good, the legs felt good, and I was movin’. The rest must have done me some good. During this stretch I’m pushing along anywhere from 14 to 16 mph. As I neared my turnaround point I slowed down a bit due to a little uphill work and because I wanted to conserve my energy for the second half.

Once past my turnaround point and approaching No Man’s Land, I began to wonder if I could really push it the rest of the way in. I felt that good. I took a good sip of water and settled in for the push. Once I entered No Man’s Land I shifted into my smallest cog on the middle gear and began cranking it. I was flying! I made if all the way through No Man’s Land at 16+ mph! My previous best was between 14-15 mph back on Ride 10. I know, for some of you 16 mph is no big deal but for me it is!

I slow down before hitting the home stretch so I can recover a bit and drink some water. Once hitting the 2 mile stretch back home I shift to the big gear and push it the rest of the way in. It started to burn pretty good near the end but I was able to push through.

Overall this ride was fantastic! The numbers were: 11.54 miles, 49 minutes, 17.7 mph max, and 14 mph average. The 17.7 mph max was achieved while going uphill and the 14 mph average is a new record for my morning ride.

I saw a couple of runners today (one of them new) and another rider. The rider was a large fellow, like myself, heading the opposite direction as I pushed the big gear home. He looked to be new to the bike and struggling some. I saw myself three weeks ago. I’m not saying I don’t struggle now but I know there’s a big difference between me now and me then. I wish I knew who he was. If you’re reading this, and were riding East on Baymeadows Road at around 6:00 AM this morning, please leave a comment or send me an email via the contact form. I know the chances of him reading this blog are microscopic but you never know. Maybe next time I’ll turn around and introduce myself.