This morning, when I checked the weather, it was already 77F/25C. I didn't even look at the humidity percentage. I didn't want to know.
Stepping out the door was like stepping into a steam bath. I didn't push for a blistering pace — I clocked about 14 MPH — my ratio of perceived effort to speed is improving, though I'm not back where I was before the Day of Idiocy. The ride itself was fairly pleasant — hot and sticky, but still enjoyable. Last night's ride, in similar humidity with a temperature some twenty degrees Farenheit higher, was brutal (though, apparently, I must be a masochist, because I still enjoyed it).
I thought it was telling that I didn't see even one other cyclist until I was way downtown, and even then the cyclist in question was a bike salmon dressed in a tank-top, short shorts, and no helmet (though she had big 80s hair, so maybe the hairspray alone would do the trick if she fell down: AquaNet FTW?), tooling along at walking speed between the bike lane and the curb on 3rd Street as I crossed it on York. Oh, well.
By the time I reached work, I looked like I'd just stepped out of the shower. Sweat rolled off me in huge beads. It's not that I was really working that hard — just that sweat doesn't evaporate very well when the air is so humid you're practically swimming.
Suffice it to say, I washed up as best I could before changing into my work clothes. Some days I do really wish my office had showers :) Jens happened to be changing at the same time and mentioned that he didn't see any other cyclists, either. We concluded that only those of us with a really high Jens factor ride in this crap. Other people might use other terms (like 'crazy factor') :)
Tonight, I won't be riding home because I'm singing at an ordination service down town at 7:00. PT Guy will be joining me for dinner beforehand.
Sunday looks good for the century ride. PT Guy said he's thinks I'm probably more deconditioned than I realize (I'm sure he's right, because my judgment tends to be severely flawed), but because of the route layout, if I decide I need to abandon, I'll never be further than maybe 25 miles from home. If I blow up, he will come rescue me.
Riding the century this weekend, given that I'm just getting back into the swing of things, is a gamble. The bet I'm making is that I've maintained sufficient condition to keep up with the group on a long-but-relatively-easy ride. Since a great deal of the route is in locations where stoplights are rare (meaning there won't be a great deal of sprinting or acceleration and deceleration), and there's only one big climb, it really comes down to whether I've maintained sufficient fitness to handle the distance.
Quicksilver needs a couple small adjustments (say it with me: SADDLE ... TILT!)and a good cleaning and lube job before the big day.
If I manage to complete the century, I'll have to feel things out at the 5-Spots on Tuesday. Yesterday I set my Rogue goals for the rest of the season: 1) try cyclocross; 2) don't embarass myself or anyone else too badly. I'd like to come out of the 5-Spots without bombing goal #2 completely :) Thus, unless I really think I've got the legs to race, I'll probably just do the beginners' clinic and watch.
I'm planning to set some more-specific training goals for the remainder of the season, but I haven't figured out yet what they should be. I think I'm going to discuss that idea with PT Guy, since he has a much clearer sense about the effective limits of the human body than I do. Rather, I have a reasonable idea about the limits of human bodies other than mine. Where mine is concerned ... meh. Who knows? LOL
I'll probably post a tenative updated goals list later today. Maybe I'll make it one of my sidebar gadgets. I think that would be a good way to keep them in sight.
Edit:In other news, PT Guy bought a pair of fenders for Swift. He said they were on sale for about $10 at Dick's, so I couldn't even really protest the expense :) He says eventually he's going to 'trick out' the bike completely — racks, panniers, the whole nine yards.
I think he's got the Fever: bike fever, that is.