Monday, April 16, 2007

An Afternoon Ride

I really regretted not taking my camera with me when I decided that the weather had cleared enough today for an afternoon ride. I left work about 4:30 and was home, changed and on the bike at 5 PM with the temperature about 45 degrees and winds gusting to 50 mph. I was stunned by the sight of the bike path. the Schuylkill had crested at about 12 feet above flood stage and must have covered most of the path earlier in the day. When I went out the path itself was clear of water, though still strewn with small debris. but along the banks of the river the water was still pooled over the banks and a huge amount of debris, mostly logs, was caught along the shore, on the retaining walls, etc. It really looked like a hurricane had hit, and I guess this storm was a close enough approximation of one to count. It was raining lightly, and/or water from the trees was being blown against me, but the wind was the real story. I got only as far as the curve in the path just below the statue of John Kelly. The river there was across the path and I turned back; that's only about 3.7 miles from home! But on the ride to that point I had hardly been able to get above 7.5 mph the whole way due to the wind. When i turned around it was a different story: I flew home with the wind mostly to my back until I was back on the river Park section where the wind twisted to my side and then in my face again. However, going much faster also seemed to make me more susceptible to the gusts, so there were a few scary moments when I thought I might lose control. But all turned out well. Only added 7.5 miles to my total but it was good to get out. It is raining again and the prospects for a morning ride are dim. Maybe in the afternoon again?

Meanwhile, I had been looking forward to watching the first stage of the Tour De Georgia on their web site during the afternoon, but neither the audio nor video ever got working. I watched the verbal reports come in on VeloNews, which was OK, but not nearly as satisfying as it would have been to watch the race. Hopefully, they will get their technological act together before the tour ends. Italian cyclist Daniele Contrini from the new Tinkoff Credit Systems team won the stage but I'm not familiar with him, and since I didn't see the race, can't comment on.

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