The fine line between Hard and Stupid has been discussed here on many an occasion.
Let's talk about it again.
Now that I've had a few moments of reflection, I've come to the conclusion that last night's ride didn't drift from that of a hardman, into the realm of the stupid. The ride made an end run, and completely went AROUND hard.
Yeah, the temps dropped precipitously. Yeah, it rained a little. Yeah, it was at night. Hardly the stuff of great suffering, or that which makes young Belgian lads into Hardmen of the North.
Personally, I've done more of those rides than I care to remember. Big deal.
What moved, or blew, the ride around the outside of hard, and well into stupid, was the wind.
Sure, it was blowing and gusting upon departure from Service Course, but worse had been ridden in.
Once ON the ride, the winds picked up. And by up, I mean howling through the trees. I pulled my earbud at one point, thinking I'd heard a train...on the river trail...
Detritus was falling from the sky, littering the trail. Some could be run over. Others bunnyhopped with ease. Then there were a few which forced a stop, and/or dismount to clear. I took a small branch to the Giro Atmos/face, resulting in a nice scratch/welt above my right eye. Thanks to Tifosi for allowing my eye to continue it's residence in my skull.
Once the group that remained (some peeled off and went home early. In retrospect...the smart ones...) gathered at the Police shed, it was determined that the ride would be cut short. Like, get-back-to-Service-Course-via-the-most-direct-method short. The threat of being crushed beneath the weight of an even larger section of tree was growing larger.
Once to Olympia, the rain started. Did I mention that the temps had dropped 20 degrees in two hours? Fortunately, the effort required to both stay upright, AND move forward, was sufficient for the generation of warmth.
The Salsa hit Service Course @ 8pm. I still got 2 hours in the dark, with plenty of effort. That effort was mental, physical, and a little spiritual at times. Spiritual you ask? Yeah...like, "Oh (insert Deity of choice), please don't let me get blown off the bridge, and into the river. They'll never find my body..."
Was it "hard"? Not really. Was it (and I hate this lame as word) EPIC? Not even close.
It was a ride...a little adventure...and external forces made it a bit daft.
This morning, I have a nice scratch/bruised eyebrow area. I'm coughing the shit that was inhaled, and the crust in the corners of my eyes in pretty impressive. Looks a bit like Sugar in The Raw.
1) Not a complete clearing of the barrier. If you watch the Euro races, this is how they all do it. A little dab will do ya...
2) Holy tire compression!
3) Where are the discs?? Yeah...not needed...
100 years of Flanders
Now get back to work...