After a two-week delay, due to a nasty weather forecast for the first scheduled date, the Advance Winter Loop went off beautifully yesterday.
The weather cooperated nicely — after a lot of wintry crap recently, the high yesterday was in the low 70s. Not without a lot of wind, though. It was 20mph out of the south all day long. We met at Cape Bicycle at 10 AM. While we were getting organized, four guys from Cyclewerx rode by and stopped to say hi — they were also headed south. We loaded bikes on cars, and drove out to Dutchtown. There we picked up a few more people, and got under way before 11 with 10 riders. It was easy enough, except for a substantial crosswind, and pretty soon we were overtaken by the Cyclewerx guys, who had ridden out while we drove. The 14 of us continued on, turning south on highway U. There are a few rolling hills there, but the main problem was the headwind. At one point I found myself going 12 mph on flat ground with a heart rate of 160. We stopped at NUT junction, where highways N, U, and T meet.
The Cyclewerx gang said goodbye and headed east on N, while the rest of us took T south. T has rolling hills followed by one major climb to Glennon. If you look at the mapmyride entry for the trip and click on “show elevation” below the map, you’ll see right away what I’m talking about. After that, it was downhill and then a long flat stretch against the wind to Advance. That finishes about the first half of the ride, and we rested at a convenience store. From there we headed east, then due north on flat terrain. At one point going north we were doing 35 mph on the flat, and hardly working at all.
Anyway, we got back to Dutchtown and headed home. A great ride, amazing good luck on the weather, and a nice start to the season. First time I’ve ridden in shorts in months. Of course, tonight and tomorrow we’re expecting ice and snow again. I’m ready for spring.