Rode to Huffman and back under partly cloudy skies. The weather is starting to warm up and the wind does not feel chilly. Biking on Smith Road requires my full attention. The road surface is asphalt and it has slippage damage. There are a couple of places with large cracks in the road big enough to grab my tires.
The wind was still kicking up today so March is working on the lion thing. When I left at 1:15 the wind was from the south at 13 mph with 17 mph gusts. Not satisfied with that when I got back home at 3:36 the increased to 13 mph with 21 mph gusts. The sun was in and out of the clouds so the 82 degrees was not quite as warm as you would think. Fortunately I wore a long sleeve jersey for sun protection but I also liked the warmth it provided when the gusts hit. Tomorrow the high could reach 91, unusual for March. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday return to the 70′s. All of this will be great bicycling weather. Some of the clouds looked dark when I started today but no rain showed on the radar and none fell on me. I don’t want to get wet while biking but we need some rain.
In an attempt to mix things up on my route I rode the reverse direction on most of the streets on my to Huffman and added a couple of branches to run some errands. I thought I might ride about 25 miles but I actually rode 29.38. My average speed suffered from the wind and taking it easy and dropped to 14.4 mph. I think my route affected this some as well. You notice different things when you ride from the opposite direction and today was no exception. With many flowers blooming and trees budding there is a plethora of color. Bradford Pear trees are white with tiny green leaves. Azaleas are red, pink and white. Some of the azaleas are very large. My sinus continues to react to all of the pollen and my voice does not last long before I can only whisper but I feel fine all the same. One of the errands was going to Walgreens to pick up a prescription and the lady at the drive in window could just barely hear me but I managed to get my information through the microphone to her.
March miles continue t build hitting 332.79 after today’s ride. I have 248 miles to go for March. Year to date miles crossed over the 1,000 mark totaling 1014.38. Here are the links to RideWithGPS.com and Garmin Connect maps and statistics.
On a sad note, when I got have after my ride I saw a news bulletin from the Houston Chronicle that a bicyclist in today’s Tour de Houston died from medical causes, not a collision. This is the first death for the Tour de Houston. My prayers go out to his family and friends.
My last ride was Monday January 28th so I was looking forward to get out riding today. I delayed the start until 1:57 PM to get my chores out of the way and to let the temperature warm up some. My home weather station showed 72.7 degrees so I thought a short sleeve jersey over a long sleeve one and shorts would be enough but as I rode through the shadows during the first mile I doubted my decision. So I looped back home and got my windbreaker jacket. I am glad I did. I felt much warmer for the rest of the ride. I noticed the wind seemed to be blowing stronger than I thought and when I got home the IAH weather station reported a SE 18 mph wind with 23 mph gusts. No wonder I noticed the chill when I first started. The scattered clouds allowed the sun to shine and it warmed me up when I got in the sun but I could feel the wind chill even with my windbreaker jacket.
Riding to Huffman I saw two other bicyclists who must have stronger heat generators than I do because they were dressed lighter. I could feel the chill as I rode across Lake Houston both directions. The route came in at 30.26 miles at a nice 15.6 mph average speed despite the strong wind. Top speed was 22.0 mph and cadence averaged 75 RPM. This is a good start for February. In February 2012 I rode 15 days for a total of 368.64 miles. The first ride was also on February 1st for 29.54 miles. The 2013 year miles to day total miles 339.65.
What a difference a few degrees make. When I stopped in Huffman at the Chevron station I looked at the Action Sign time and temperature board and saw 79 degrees. At home my weather station also showed 79 degrees at the finish. Last week we experienced some cold weather. It looks like January turned the corner. On Monday I doubted if I would ride in Coldspring tomorrow now the forecast says a high of 75 after some fog lifts. One spot that the warm air still needs to work on: Lake Houston. After I finished my Diet Pepsi at the Huffman Chevron I rode to the west. The closer I got to Lake Houston the cooler the air felt. Riding over Lake Houston on the FM1960 causeway I longed to be on the west side where warmer air awaited. I wore a long sleeve jersey and shorts to enjoy the warm sun and breeze.
Riding east over Lake Houston did not seem so chilly for some reason. Maybe I built up my body heat riding to that point while I stopped about 20 minutes in Huffman, enough to cool down some. The Huffman route totaled 29.82 miles bring my January total to 233.99 miles, only 33 away from the 267 mile goal. The south wind was at 10 mph but it did not keep me from averaging 15.6 mph and a 21.2 mph top speed. All but the first 5 mile interval averaged 15.0 mph or better. The legs coming back.