For several hours after yesterday’s tentative 20-mile ride I felt fantastic, the best I’ve felt since the roof caved in three weeks ago. Temperatures this morning were in the 60s. I know a sign from the bike gods when I see one. It was time to push things a bit further.
I rode from my house to the Lincoln Memorial and back. For most of the 30-mile ride, I was cruising on flat ground. I felt fine. My lungs and heart felt completely normal. Normal is awesome.
So was the fog. The warm air caused the ice on the Potomac River to create amazing spooky clouds. The southerly breeze pushed the fog up against bridges and buildings. I stopped at the Reflecting Pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial. I could only see a few feet in front of me.
At the Virginia side of the Memorial Bridge, visibility was nearly zero. I could barely see past my front wheel. I stopped and the wind blew a gap in the fog bank.
The ride home was into a steady head wind. If anything would test my heart and lungs. this surely would. After about two miles, I settled into a steady, calm breathing pattern. Dang.
At 26 1/2 miles I decided to try climbing a bill. The Park Terrace Drive hill is well known to local commuters. I can easily break 30 miles per hour riding down it. Riding up it I am lucky to maintain 5 miles per hour. So It was pretty gratifying to see 4.9 on my speedometer only for a moment as I reached the top. It took a few seconds longer than normal for my heart rate to come back down but, having not ridden a hill in over three weeks, I was pretty darned pleased with how it went.
Sitting at home an hour or so later, I feel even better than yesterday. You might say I feel as if a fog has lifted.