If you ride a lot then you know that most of the time it feels like the wind is in your face for an entire ride. Just when you think the turn you are going to make is going to transform that headwind into a tailwind, you find out you have more headwind. More grind.
But. But every so often you get a ride that feels like you have the wind at your back the entire ride.
Yesterday I rode one of those rides.
When I got on my bike I felt, well, good. Strong. I don’t know if it was just the fact that I had a mentally good ride the day before and I was refreshed in my brain, or if my legs have just “adjusted” somehow to the week of training “fun” post Whiteface. But when I got on my bike my legs felt good. The first 3 miles of my ride were into a nasty headwind, but I felt good. Down onto the drops, solid strong tempo. Then I turned the corner and the headwind became a tailwind.
I had 1200 ft of climbing to get out of the way. It was like magic. Refreshed legs helped me to power up the climbs. The tail wind felt like a gift from the universe, a gentle push helping me up the hills. Where I felt spent on this route two days earlier, I felt strong and fast. One of the hills on this route has a Strava segment on it. I knew the weather conditions were ripe for a fast climb. Would my legs give me enough? Could I possibly best my PB on this hill? Time to see. Up I went. (Author’s note: I tied my PB. TIED it. Sigh. Just a little bit of humble pie from the universe to remind me to keep working 🙂 )
My route then turned and had a 11 mile long downhill/flat section. The wind? Magically still at my back. There are few things better than a flat or slightly downhill section of nicely paved road where you can put your bike into the biggest gear you have and crank with all of your might. (I would saw achieving real flow on a beautiful piece of single track would be one of those things, but I digress.) Road bikes are made to go fast. Bombing down a steep hill is going fast, but that’s gravity doing the work. There is just enough tension when I am bombing down a hill, just enough, to keep flow at bay. No, when the speed comes from me, its intensely satisfying. I found flow on my road bike in this fast flat section. I kept a 24.7 mph average for this section of the ride, never falling below 20 mph. Yeah I know the wind helped, and yeah I know the grade averaged -1% for this stretch. I DON’T CARE! It was supper fun to pound away. 20 minutes of pure bike bliss.
I needed to get a little more time in for this ride and so I turned out of town. The wind? It still felt like it was at my back. Nice! Then back to town. How the heck is the wind still at my back? Don’t question, just turn the cranks.
My ride ended 30 miles after it started with a 19.3 mph average. Not freaken bad considering the climbing at the start of the ride.
And in proper fashion, well, my ride ended at the local ice cream shop, where I met my family. I got a peanut butter bliss sunday with chocolate ice cream.