In the week following the Bloomin' Metric Century it rained every day. Saturday, Kate and I had one of our long time friends and her son come down for a night. We decided to go out to the Sherwood Island beach and instead of paying for the second car to get in (we've got a season pass on Kate's car), we had the two of them go in Kate's car and I rode to the beach.
I've ridden to the beach from Andrew's house, but since that route is longer (to Andrew's hosue first and then to the beach) and since I wasn't positive I knew the way, I mapped the ride with RideWithGps.com and loaded it into my Garmin Edge 305 (which only stores cue sheets and not the trace of the route).
The ride to the beach was pretty easy. The beach is 75 feet lower than my house and the hills to the beach are definitely noticeable, but not too bad. Once at the beach, we spent a lovely two hours in and near the water. After about 90 minutes, we heard a siren from one of the boats on the water, probably to warn them about the lightening that was seen not too far into the distance. That probably should have been my clue to leave then. But since the weather was still nice where we were (albeit a bit overcast), we I stayed for another half an hour.
The ride back started off quite well. Within about 5 minutes, however, it started to rain. It never rained too hard, but it still made the ride a little bit harder. At about 12 miles into the ride (or 3.4 miles from the beach), I started coughing hard enough that I had to pull over at the side of the rode and rest for a few minutes. I don't know if I'm still not just over my cold or I've got allergies or what, but I really could have done without that. (I don't know that I'm allergic to anything outside, but there was so much cottenwood out that it looked like it had snowed.)
One of the reasons that Andrew and I almost always started the rides at his house and ended at my house is that there is a quite substantial hill from his house to my house. Unfortunately, coming back from the beach meant that I'd have to climb the same hill. I tried a slightly different route on the way back, but as it turns out (either because I didn't follow the route exactly or because I didn't re-route it as well as I'd hoped), I made it so I ended climbing up more than I would have the original route.
I made it half way up the big hill and decided to take a break. Unfortunately, since it had been raining the road was particularly slippery and it literally took me half a dozen attempts before I could get started. But I did and the rest of the hill and ride went without any incident.
It was good to get back out on the bike after a week off. It seems weird not to be training anymore ("Dude, that was just for 8 weeks! Get over it!"), but for now, it's just riding for riding.
After I put the kids to bed tonight I went out for a quick ride of 11 miles (averaging 13.7 mph). I didn't have any coughing problems tonight and I really pushed myself pretty hard (to the beach yesterday I averaged 12.9 mph for just under 9 miles and home was slower).
I don't have any beach related pictures, so instead, I'll leave you with this cartoon I found out there on the intertubes.