That's what the weather was like again this morning as I headed out for an early ride to Valley Forge. Clear skies, no humidity and temperatures in the high 60's, low 70's. I wasn't sure I wanted to get up at my usual 4:45 AM on my "day off," but since I wasn't really going to get a day off, I did. I was very glad I did, too. I rode relatively slowly on the way out and chose not to try Umbria Street in the morning rush. So I took the tow path again and that was fine. I really wasn't feeling all that strong, so I just rode, leisurely. Left the house just after 6:30 AM and arrived at Valley Forge about 9 AM. Stopped for snack, rest, check-in with Annie and checked my email. Then headed home. I needed to be at work at noon. I started back at a somewhat leisurely pace also, but then something clicked in (actually I got passed...too close and with no warning shout or bell, by some woman on a mountain style bike. She just got my goat and I took off, passed her in a whirl and kept going at that pace) and I rode most of the way home at 17, 18, 19 mph. That's fast for me. Arrived at Lloyd Hall before 11 AM where I saw one guy I passed already waiting. Since I did not take the tow path home and did go up Shawmont and Umbria into Manayunk, I learned that the tow path must cut a couple of miles off the trip. Even though one tends to ride more slowly on the tow path, the shorter distance and the effect of climbing the hills allowed this guy to get in front of me. Good to know. But I caught him on Kelly drive and left him in the dust anyway. Home in time for a quick lunch and shower and off to work. I have the Brompton with me now and will do a few errands to add to the 46 miles I rode this morning. It has been a good mileage month.
Found that Bill Strickland was nice enough to check out my blog and leave a comment on the post :"Author! Author!" Coincidently, I intended to write about his book and Johan Bruyneel's today anyway. Actually I wrote about them in my lost post of the other day, but never included it in the "make-up" post. I did finish "We Might As Well Win" and really enjoyed it. Much more than I expected to. Lots of good stories inside the TDF years of Johan and Lance and well written. That may well be because of Strickland. I went on to re-read "Ten Points" and want again to really recommend it. The whole ambiance and mentality of amateur crit racing was really instructive, fun and interesting. so there's plenty for a cyclist to relate to, but to quote Lance, it's not about the bike. Or maybe it is. The story of Bill's family and childhood is terribly moving and I guess all of us who come to depend on our bikes to work out something, to fill some space or heal some wound begin to realize that while it is about life it is also about the bike. Read it, and let me know what you think. Better yet, buy it through the widget on my side bar from Amazon, then read it and let me know what you think.