The most disappointing aspect of this morning came when I saw the first few riders showing up. This meant that my dream of sleeping in would not be.
We had a total of 9 riders including:
Ann Raffis Mike Hritz
Dan Maddox Steve Doutt
Dave Fryes Tina Maddox
Eric Overton Tom Driscoll
The ride was brutally cold, very windy, and it was outright crazy for us to do what we did. I think that was the coldest I’ve ever seen it, especially with the wind chill factor. I’ve never seen a day of riding where the temperature only increased by 2 degrees. Luckily we were all dressed for it and decided that it wasn’t a good idea to try to do 100 miles. I think that if any one of us had made the mistake of not dressing properly or were having a bad day we would have surely cracked. Throughout it all, our attitudes remained good but although our faces were contorted and sometimes “twitchified”.
We decided to go to Wellington instead of the planned route. But leaving Wellington, it was very, very cold and windy and we started feel Mother Nature’s unforgiving spirit. I started to wonder if we were going to be able to go the distance. Out of town, we ended up going south (wrong direction) for a bit just to get a break from the cold winds. That paid off because it allowed us to warm up a bit before turning right into the wind. It was strange that the very direction that we needed to go (north and east) is where the winds were coming out of. It felt equally brutally, with the northward direction slightly windier and colder. Another strange thing that we did (for survival) was to choose a hillier route back to avoid doing a 10-15 mile stretch of flat, open roads where the winds were blowing right into our faces. That was a good call because the rolling terrain allowed us to generate some heat and there were trees and houses to block some of the winds. By the time we got to within 4 miles of the finish, everyone had had enough. But as we got to within 1 mile of the base we had smiles on our faces and it started to make sense again why we do what we do. It was a big sense of accomplishment that not too many people have experienced. However, if we were smart we would have stayed home. Overall, I think we all would say, “Another good day”!