Last night’s ride.  It was rough.

I wasn’t feeling so fantastic for some reason.  We started out, four dudes on fat bikes (or chubby bikes, in the case of Lenny), with winds in the 20-30-stupidfast mph category.  No rain in the forecast, so of course as soon as we got out of town, it started raining a steady spite of little 45 degree rivulets.  The gravel was mush, the wind was hellacious, the air was thick with moisture, the rain was pelting, etc., etc.  The ride sucked.

I sucked.  We were peloton-ing with our fatties, to try to get some respite from the wind.  I was having a hard time just hanging on.  My legs felt good, but my chest wasn’t in it.  My heart was pounding, and I was breathing super-hard.  I’d get to the front, and just have no pull.  The guys I was riding with saw that I was having a hard time even pulling to the front, and being the super-dudes that they are, they pulled through and let me suck wheel for a prolonged portion of the early part of the ride.

Dudes dropped off at two points in the ride.  Those were the reasonable dudes, riding appropriately, and recognizing when we were defeated.  Me, I’m the stubborn one.  Too stubborn to give in.  So even when I was sucking, I kept riding.  At the second drop-point, the other dudes peeled off, and I turned back into the wind.  I was going to have my ride, come hell or high gusts.  And a long, windy ride it was.

It’s dark in the middle of nowhere, on a windy, rainy night.  I was chased by a dog for the first time in a long time.  I heard spooky noises.  I suffered.

Let me tell you, when you’re not expecting it, the sudden noise of a wind turbine directly overhead can freak you out justalittlebit.

By the time I turned back towards DeKalb, my glutes and hamstrings were screaming.  Aching.  Burning.  I looked down, saw the reflective Axletree sticker, and smiled.  We’ve done a lot this year.  We have a long ways to go.

This was my penance ride.  My December, cold, rainy, suffer alone night ride.


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