I managed to get off the hamster wheel in the basement to take advantage of a nice outdoor ride on the road bike Sunday afternoon before temperatures dropped from the 40's to below zero. On tap was a two hour Zone 2 ride, so I figured now that I have a smart phone I would check out the app Map My Ride.
It was an amazing tailwind as I headed north to Carlisle. The trail has been kept clear all winter long from Indianola to Summerset Road, but not beyond that. Luckily, it has been warm and sunny enough I ventured beyond Summerset Road and was able to ride through about a mile of ice, slush, and muck to get past the Banner shooting range thanks to my knobby cyclocross tires on the road bike. Hey, nothing wrong with a little tech skill work on ice, right? It was clear no other bikes had been out and through this slush and ice section in spite of the warm temperatures. After I crossed the wooden bridge just beyond the shooting range, I once again hit clear black top from there to Carlisle. The tailwind was so strong, I knew I would pay for it coming home as I was flying along at 19-20 mph in an easy Zone 2.
Sure enough, once I turned around at Carlisle to head back, I was facing a 25-40 mph headwind. Ouch! I tried tucking down in the drops and keeping it in the 14-16 mph range, but it was taking me over the edge and into Zone 3. So I shifted gears and backed off to a crawling pace to keep my ride, heart, and legs all in check. It didn't matter, it felt good to get outside on black top and besides - I was trying to get two hours out of this ride. I did a loop of the State Park to add some time before heading up the climb to Indianola against the wind. It started to rain just as I was on the final 1/2 mile to our house. The wind was howling and I rolled into the garage happy with the two hours I had just spent on black top.
This combined with my 2 dog walks (where I ride a bike) on Sunday allowed me to make my weekend numbers.
I haven't used Map My Ride before, so I don't really have a review on what it can or cannot do at this point. It uses GPS via my phone to figure out the distance and route which is uploaded to the MMR website.
In spite of the howling winds, I lit the fire in our Big Green Egg so I could smoke 3 chickens. Maybe lighting a fire in such a high wind wasn't a wise thing, but I did avoid burning down our deck as well as setting anything in our neighbor's yard on fire as the sparks blew everywhere. I got the lid closed to let the fire stoke up while I showered, then came back and loaded the indirect heat plate, water and the birds in the Egg to let the smoke and heat work its magic.
Here they are at the one hour point before I flipped them over...
And about 70 minutes later, the finished product...
Zack, Tara, and I tore into one of them to eat along with a salad and bread as we watched the Grammy's. The other two, once they cooled, got taken off the bones and stored in Tupperware for a couple of upcoming meals on my weekly planning sheet - White Smoked Chicken Chili, and Smoked Chicken Pizza. More on those when they happen.
Winds picked up to the 50-60 mph range making for a noisy backdrop as we fell fast asleep once the Grammy's were finished. And Monday morning temperatures were 55 degrees cooler than they were during my bike ride the day before. So cold that schools were delayed two hours yet again for fear of children getting frostbite at the bus stops. I'm glad I have all the gear I do for cold weather as I am able to function and go about my daily routine regardless. I was very comfortable walking the dogs Monday morning with my balaclava, hat, lined mittens, snow pants, and ski parka. The dogs didn't seem to mind either.
It's -3 this morning with a -9 windchill, so school should be back to its normal start today.