Distance: 24.6 mi.
Avg. Speed: 17.85 mph
Weather: 60-52º, 62-91% humidity, wind SE4-NE2, cloudy then heavy rain
Song stuck in head: Love Reign O'er Me - The Who
My intention for today's ride was to get in some good climbing and to try out the idea of high rpm spinning up the hills. Forecast called for rain to start at around 11 a.m., I left home a little past 8:30 and expected to be back by 10:15 or so.
The route goes the usual way: Red Acre > S. Acton > Taylor > Eldridge > Stow and things were going very well all the way. I got to the green mailbox at the bottom of Stow Road, noted my time and started up, attempting to keep my cadence at 100 rpm or better for as long as I could.
About halfway up, I saw a drop of rain on my computer and then another so I stopped and put on my rain jacket and helmet cover, which I've had for some time but never wore. I was also glad I had put on my shoe covers before I left.
Off again I went and soon enough it really started coming down. Determined to at least get this climb in before turning back, I made it to the stop sign at the top in... 6' 35". It's amazing how I consistent my time is on this hill regardless of conditions or methods.
At the top, I pressed on down Rte. 111 into Harvard Center and as I went, I could feel the heat draining out of me. A quick look at the temperature readout on my computer showed that it had dropped from 59 to 52 degrees in about 10 minutes time. It was time to turn back.
I turned right onto Oak Hill Road which provided me with one more short, steep climb and then turned onto Woodchuck Hill Road, right on Slough and back down Stow towards home. I usually bomb down Stow when I get the chance but it was raining hard enough now that there was a lot of water on the road and I didn't need to take a spill so I just soft pedaled to keep my legs moving and as warm as possible.
I pretty much made the rest of the ride home into another spin session. I was cold, but not quite teeth-chattering cold. The silly-looking helmet cover definitely helped by keeping my head dry. At 24 miles and change it wasn't a wasted outing, but I kept thinking I could have been on the trainer, watching a movie in my basement instead.
Once back home, I stuffed towels into my shoes (the covers finally let some rain in after a while), put the bike on the stand and tilted it back to drain the chainstays/BB and then toweled off the whole thing. I also took off the chain off and set it in some solvent.
The forecast for tomorrow looks much better, hopefully the MRC Wednesday ride goes off without any rain...