I can assure readers that the predictions of heat for today were well-founded. I chose to do the ride from Kim's Bike Shop today, partly because I hadn't been a regular there, and partly because it would start and end early (and hopefully, avoid the worst of the heat). And here's something to chew on: by the end of today's ride, I was nearly five lbs. lighter than I was yesterday. I figure pretty much all of that is water weight. So that five pounds, plus the three pounds of water I carry (all of which I went through... or which went through me, I guess) means I sweated out about eight pounds of water on this ride, or close to, and eight pounds of water is a gallon.
Whence the name of this post.
Despite the heat, and the slow and uncomfortable ride home, I wouldn't have missed it; these are a great group, and I'm glad I went. I had some GPS stupidity, so here's my ride from home, and the first part of the group ride... then the rest of the loop... and pedaling home, pretty much exhausted.
As usual, we started in front of the shop...
Above: Lwichy is so fast, he causes gravitational aberrations. See the distortion in the window panels? It's not just from the cheap camera, I assure you.
Above: good-lookin' crew. Below: I can't remember the last time I saw Fray.
From the shop, though, we moved across the street into the shade.
These folks are unencumbered my my ancestral, Puritanical adherence to punctuality, but we did get rolling to Johnson Park to pick up the Rutgers fast boys...
...and off we went.
I think it was along River Road I noticed that a car was hanging back. I got to talk to the driver (well, it was curious, don't you think?); it turns out he rides (and did with Dave Kim a week or two ago); he's newly-moved into the area and was trailing us to get the route (he's been doing a twelve-mile route, but he's up for something a little more demanding and less boring). It turned out to be a mixed blessing: we had less to worry about cars behind, but the ones that did pass him sped by us (I think) more recklessly even than usual.
I don't know if it was the heat, or if my age is catching up, but I was hanging on the back today. I was grateful for the rests, both after Johnson Park and at Six Mile/Blackwells Mills:
Below, the fellow who was trailing us. He told me his name, but it's gone from memory now. He was a racer, and before he moved here he rode in Upstate NY. He thinks NJ is flat (he's gotta get out more), but he thought Coppermine was a respectable hill when he saw it.
I was not the last up Coppermine...
...but after Coppermine, I was done. I was the last to Kim's (I figured out that the younger guys were keeping an eye on my to make sure I made it back alive - my thanks go to them). And while I knew I could make it home, I slipped onto the small chainring to remind myself not to try to push things (I needn't have worried; there wasn't much energy to push. My ride home averaged 12.5 mph).
Then cold shower and sit in the dark in the air-conditioning for a while. And then, this post and a few weekend chores. And probably a ride from Stockton into Pennsylvania tomorrow with some Hill Slugs. Watch this space!
Or don't. I'm not your boss.