The Great White North took a lot out of me. A lot. Compared with two weeks ago, Chinook amounted to one day of lethargy and a few days of feeling less than ideal with the muscles and strength. Following this most recent race, I had three solid days of somnolence and today I was onto my fifth day of my body still remembering that it raced hard on Sunday. This state of affairs isn’t really a good thing or a bad thing, it’s just what is. I feel like racing drained every drop of adrenaline out of my body, and now it’s taking a few days to get rebalanced.
Monday was scratched as I spent a solid 16 hours at the lab… well it included a break at dinner to write up a blog entry about the race. Tuesday morning I got in an easy spin on the road bike for an our and by late afternoon I could find absolutely no motivation to try and go swim so I didn’t and instead rolled over on my ‘cross bike to the Hardcore Fat Tire Tuesday race where I tried to count laps for the racers and get times. I only screwed up a bit but because everyone got a burger no-one complained that I botched all the ranks outside the top ten. Then I took a round-about way home and racked up another hour of touring the trails. Wednesday evening it was absolutely beautiful and felt that as I’d felt OK after my three short rides the day prior I would be OK to head out for a bit longer of an easy ride in the countryside. Well, I had no trouble doing so, and doing so with some serious speed. My HR was responding just as I would have anticipated it should and I pegged it in where I normally would expect to ride on a steady cruising along going no-where fast but not-lollygagging either kind of pace. Well after 2 hours of that I was totally cooked, and rather accidentally still an hour from home, I had only intended to ride for 2-2.5 hours. So, I went and got a sub sandwich and sat in a park in Spruce grove for half an hour and then mustered up my motivation to ride home with a rather beautiful sunset reflecting on the clouds ahead of me. Thursday I knew better than to kick myself in the head and took another self-imposed and partially coach sanctioned rest-day.
Friday was to be another crack at a bike ride, I recruited some company and headed out of town. We knew there was a giant storm blowing across the prairie but we all kinda resigned ourselves to the fact that we might get wet and headed out anyways. We could see the storm from even before we started moving and basically rode straight for it, and had the illusion in our heads that we might be able to skirt around it to the north as it approached us and then be able to let it pass us by and then roll nicely back into town after it having avoided all the wetness. Well, as we stood at the side of the road deciding on this plan of action we looked up at the bottom of the giant cloud which was right on top of us and it was thoroughly dimpled and had some very noticeable circulation. I’m no pro meteorologist but I’ve watched enough Discovery channel to know that circulation like that is certainly a warning sign for a tornado.
No. Sorry. This blog entry doesn’t wind up with us out-riding a tornado as no funnel cloud developed but very shortly after that quick confernce of “what should we do” at the side of the road we started to get wet, really wet. And the sidewind was nuts. I was doing my best with all 86 kg of myself to barely hold my bike in a straight line. And then without much warning it was suddenly impossible to ride. We dismounted and found ourselves standing at the roadside holding onto our bikes like they were kites as we scrambled into the ditch to get at least a bit out of the wind. The cut hay in the field across from us was rolling along in big chunks, suitcase size balls of hay and then sofa size heaps of straw… this was a serious storm. We also got ourselves a bit of hail, not much volume wise, but they were big, more than 1cm across for sure. Then almost as suddenly as it started it was over… and we found ourselves soaked to the bone, the wind having changed direction to ensure a headwind for the return trip and about 40kms from home.
The photos are a bit lousy but I think they still communicate the idea. Thanks to Darren for snapping them! All in all I’m actually really happy I rode this evening, it was a good time and it makes for an even better story. I’ll wrap up with posting this video. It’s kinda relevant to the sentiment I had at about 5pm before we got on our bikes when we knew with full certainty that there was a storm coming and there wasn’t anything to do about it, just decide what we were going to make of the situation.