WARNING: do not try this if you have dependents. Thirty somethings with a life of responsibilities should stop reading right now.
You know you are getting old when you have to use a calculator to figure out how old you are. Although I am young in my mind I pretend to say that the Senior Specials on the IHOP menu are for old folks. I am not afraid to admit that that I’m sixty one at the time of this blog post. As a life long bike commuter I have a memory full of adventures on my bikes. Tonight was one of those adventures and I decided to write about this one.
I have been getting bored riding the same routes to work and back home. Granted I am whining about some of the best bike commuting routes that I have had in all of the states that I have lived in. You know the saying “The grass is always greener in the pasture that you just left”, well sometimes at my age the memory of past rides get better the longer it is since I had the ride. Well today I decided to mix it up and put my Ortlieb bags on my bike. I knew it would slow me down, but I also knew the extra weight would break the monotony of my morning commute. I checked the Weather Channel before my morning commute and there were head winds coming in from the east. Great I thought, I’ll have extra weight and I will have a good 6 miles of riding dead into the wind.
Well on my way home it got even better. This is my version of the Senior Special and I broke my bike commute rule, do not ride when there is thunder storms on the way. I looked at the map and at 5 PM and the yellow and red storm indicators were not due over Albany until 7 PM. My bike commute down Leary road is about one hour and thirty minutes. I knew if i hustled I could make it home before the storm hit.
The wind had picked up since the morning and it was blowing from the south. I love riding in a warm rain so the winds from the south were a welcome break from the cold winter winds of last week. This was going to be fun as my route home would hit all of the directions of the compass starting with a ride directly into 15 to 20 MPH winds. I decided to let the Cycle Thunder out of the barn and just open them up and hammered into the wind. My adrenaline kicked in when it started to rain and I thought that the storm was coming in faster than the Weather channel prediction had led me to believe. This is when the Senior Special came to bear fruit as I threw caution to the wind and kept riding into the wind as fast as I could. The joy of making up games is what I love. So tonight the Senior Special was to ride as fast as I could with my Ortliebs and not get hit by lightning.
The cross winds were so strong that I found myself leaning into the wind. The Ortliebs kept me hugging the fog line. When I got to Eight Mile road all of the hard work paid off as I could enjoy a good strong tail wind home. Even though this part of the ride has a slight climb it was so inspiring to still ride like crazy with the wind and rain at by back. I have never reached a speed of 39 KM on almost flat road with so much weight on my bike before. This was my fastest time riding home on this route.
So my lesson learned is that it pays to break up the routing and do things different. The excitement of riding to beat a storm was the E-ticket for me. This is the Senior Special.