I was still not over the GI affliction I got on the ship when I came down with a cold on Thursday night, and I was not completely over THAT for today... but warm, clear, and sunny was predicted, and I wanted to at least try to do a group ride. Friend Paul invited me on a ride he was to lead... but he''s one of the fast boys, and I wasn't sure I could keep up in my (ahem) compromised state. Today was also Cory's Ride, but I suspected most of my friends would plan to go on the ride to Round Valley with Tom H.
I wasn't sure if I was well enough to complete the ride, but the start was only seven miles from home, and I figured that if I were too weak to do the whole distance, Mr. Garmin (my trusty, obsolete Edge 605 GPS) could plot me a route home. On the other hand, since the start was so close to home, I decided to ride to the start.
("Do I contradict myself?...)
Ten people started, including Ed C, Laura OLPH, Barry, Lynne W, Cheryl, Marco B, Avtar, and Ken, along with Tom and me. Tom led us on this route, which included a number of roads I've only ever been on in the other direction ("Wait; you can go down Dutchtown-Zion?"). There wasn't a lavatory or porta-john at the Causeway, so my route includes a few extra miles looking for a place to privately void my bladder (for the amount of trees along Canal Road, there is a surprising lack of privacy when you need it).
For me, the problem turned out not to be in my legs, but in my lungs and throat. I got to the point where I could only speak for a few seconds, and then I'd have a coughing jag (Tom H thought this an unmixed blessing). Heavy breathing was difficult, and I had painful lungs within the first 25 miles or so, although that abated. Also, I didn't have my usual strength (as I had feared). although whether this was from the cold, or almost a month off the bike, or something else (or all of them), I don't know, either.
The first part of the ride was a fairly flat bit to Whitehouse Station, where we stopped for break (they did not seem thrilled to see our sweaty assemblage invade the premises). Then the hills started, culminating at the reservoir for this leg of the trip. I don't think Avtar had seen the reservoir before; he seemed impressed. We got some pictures at an open gate until a pickup with officious representative rolled up; we were informed we were trespassing and were shooed off.
It's OK; the next thing was the wicked downhill after the reservoir, one of many times Avtar and I had a little competition going (I don't know if I'd ever be as fast as he, but I certainly wasn't today; at one point, Ed C and I got behind and Ed wanted to sprint to catch up; I tried, but ran out of energy quickly). Then over to the site of the old Peacock's for a rest (but no drinks or toilet). Then up Lindbergh (Ed C went off on his own at that point) and to Dutchtown-Zion (Tom said the rest of the ride would be downhill, but that's evidently a well-known rideleader's trick). By this time, I had no voice left at all, and while the pain in my lungs had stopped, I was still coughing off and on.
(Edit: Here's the route.)
We got back to the start, and Laura asked if I would look at her front derailleur (wait: an opportunity to wrench on a bike? Oh, twist my arm!). It needed more than I could do on a road repair, but it will do for now.
And now home, where I'm writing this, considering a nap, and thinking about maybe Ken G's ride tomorrow. But I'm not talking much.
Pictures: At the start:
Below, Avtar and Ken. Ken's got last year's Anchor House jersey, it's almost good enough to make me want to do the ride again (I will, someday):
Below, at Whitehouse:
Below: Avtar, impressed at the reservoir.
At the old Peacock's: