To make it worse, this 'spring' has involved a lot of homework and studying. Time management has never been a strong suit for me. I am much better at procrastination and cramming. Luckily, The Wife was able to come up with a way for me to do two things I don't love: ride on the trainer AND study. After borrowing a music stand from church, I now had a setup where I could read about exciting topics like police administration or managing public transit while ticking away the miles. The misery or reading really helped to take my mind off the saddle sore. I felt like I was pedaling my soul away.
So imagine my delight this past weekend when we had a few brief glimpses of nice weather! Saturday was a lovely day. Sunny skies. Temps in the 70's. It was a great day to waste catching up on the many chores and projects I had stacking up around the house. Sunday's forecast was not so bad either. The morning was nice and warm, with lots of sun. The afternoon was supposed to bring a little cool down, with some scattered rain. While my morning was dedicated to family time - and I had to get a nap in before working at night - it looked like there was a perfect gap in the early afternoon to ride to nearby Whitmore Lake and back. This would be about a 15 mile ride, the perfect length to test out the bike in the real world and see how it did. As I stepped out of the house, I thought the sky looked a little gray, but I didn't think much of it as I knew a front was blowing through. A mile and a half in, there were some sprinkles. But I could see clear sky off in the distance. This would only be a passing shower. A few miles later, I was pedaling through a full on downpour. What I thought was just going to be a delightful misting had me completely soaked through and through. On the upside, I was able to test out all of my brand new, never-before-used gear in extreme weather. I was able to see just how my brand new bike, helmet, fancy not-bike-short-looking-bike-shorts, and shoes performed when completely soaked. Good news: it all worked out just great. The temperature was just right, so I embraced the soaking and decided to continue on to lovely Whitmore Lake before returning home. Plus the thunder and lightening made up for no music.
I was impressed with my ability to dodge potholes, maintain a steady pace, and keep from getting run over. The only thing that didn't work was my headphones. So I was trapped between my own thoughts and the sound of my huffing and puffing. I'd say that it gave me a nice chance to focus inwardly and reflect, but mostly I just thought about how hungry I was. Perhaps the most delightful surprise of my ride was the unexpected wildlife. We live out in the country. There are horse farms everywhere. Hawks, turtles, foxes, and coyotes are pretty regular sights. But the one thing that nearly caused me to fall off the bike was when a peacock popped its head up from the ditch. As I circled back to get a better look, he hurried back into the wooded swamp just as creepily as he had emerged. I thought it must be a sign. This was either a good omen since Hinduism associates the beautiful birds with luck and patience... or it meant I should check out what's on NBC tonight. I think I will DVR Wheel of Fortune.
Aside from being soaked and seeing mystery foul, the rest of the ride was uneventful. I turned around in one of Whitmore Lake's less scenic gas stations, my equipment held up in the rain, and I felt pretty good when I was done getting 16 miles in. Even better, I got back just in time to find an email from the director of the South Lyon Farmer's Market waiting for me. He is going to meet with a couple of us from The Downhill Riders to hammer out the details of our Farmer's Market appearance June 8th. So I have to say that things are coming together. I hope you will consider donating for an awesome cause. You can either click the link below to help Make-A-Wish Michigan grant wishes for children, or you can come check us out at the South Lyon Farmer's & Artisans Market on June 8th. It's gonna be great. In the mean time, wish us luck. And think spring!