We went on a Cascade Club ride this morning: the loop around Lake Washington. The weather was cloudy and cool (low 60's) when we left the house at 8:15, but the day gradually warmed up and the sky cleared up a little after noon. Jeff's odometer clicked 57 miles for the day, with an average speed of 14 mph. Considering the hills we climbed, not too bad.
The ride was well led, with one leader at the front, one in the middle of the pack (we started with over 30 riders), and one "sweeper." They were great about keeping us together (lots of lights; very easy to string out a group) and keeping up a good pace. The stops were timed well for me as well: 5 - 10 minute breaks every 20 miles or so, to refill water bottles, use the ladies, eat a little something, and stretch and rest, without getting too cold or bored.
Unfortunately, we had a few bad spots. The rider just in front of Jeff as we were on the NW side of the lake on the Burke Gillman trail fell, and possibly broke his collar bone. We were riding back just enough to be able to easily avoid him, and luckily no one else went down. On the East Side we rode by a car accident - the car was in the ditch next to the road with 2 apparently unhurt passengers out of the car, while the driver was still belted in. I often think about how we risk our safety every time we get on the road, whether on bike or in car and how we have to forget that danger so that we can carry on and not just hole up in our homes.
So, after my longest ride since last summer, I finished feeling pretty beaten up: sore neck and back, slightly saddle sore, leaden legs, and tired overall. Other than a little laundry and weeding, I've spent most of the afternoon on the couch. I'm planning on a 2 hour ride tomorrow; hopefully I'll have enough left for a good ride. I have a lot of training to do before the Courage Classic!
Now, on to brats and beer and fireworks! Happy Independence Day!