Distance: 38.2 miles
Avg. speed: 17.7 mph
Weather: 36-46º, 61-46% humidity, wind NW9-W12
Song stuck in head: Kitchen Girl (Old-time banjo song)
So nice to do an outdoor ride this morning. Last one was way back in November.
Even though the thermometer gave a reading colder than I think I have ever rode in, it didn't seem so bad once I got going. But the pre-ride prep in the garage was pretty chilly, needing to pull my gloves off long enough to stretch my booties over my shoes and zip them up (I've moved them indoors for the time being).
As I rode to the meeting place for today's ride, I realized I had completely forgotten how to pair and reset my cyclocomputer - all the while being careful not to take a dive on the extremely well-sanded neighborhood streets along the way.
9 a.m. rendezvous with Smudger, Kyle, Ian, Bill P and Stefan at Stow Plaza and we set out a few minutes later, heading west along 117 to turn right on Harvard Road to meet up with Skip and head up into Harvard. We looped partway up Stow Road, went left on Westcott and pretty much ran the Wednesday night route in reverse all the way past Fruitlands and back to Harvard Center. We kept a pretty modest pace, just under 20 mph. I was keeping up with the group very well but all the while, my heart rate was higher than expected (about 160 bpm), which I chalked up to adrenaline.
From there, we took Littleton road out of Harvard and passed on climbing Pinnacle Road. As soon as we made that decision, I was partly hoping we DID go up Pinnacle: Littleton Road is a terrible gauntlet of frost heaves, pot holes and loose pavement. This wouldn't have been the first time I nearly shook all my fillings out. There really wasn't a good line along this stretch all the way into Littleton Station where the road condition finally improved.
We zig-zagged across the railroad tracks to pick up Harwood Ave. which we road to Nashoba Road and went around Nagog Pond. The pace picked up appreciably during this stretch, the short climbs along the way started to stretch our little group out a bit.
We rode a little way east on 119 then south on 27. I was starting to find myself fade little bit on the inclines at this point - I didn't feel tired but my legs just were giving me the horsepower needed to keep up. We then went west on Newtown Road, then picked up Arlington Street which we rode into West Acton and finally made our way back to the start along Central Ave., Martin Street and Red Acre Road.
With a two month jump on last year, things are looking good.