Friday, June 10, 2016

In Which 20 Hot Afternoon Miles Pass OK

Otis Road, headed home from Prairie Park Fishery. This bare stretch of road is a tad toasty on a hot afternoon. I was grateful for the clouds, which provided occasional slightly shadier conditions.

I took two bike rides today, and overall I would say it was a good day.

This warm morning began with a hill climb on Brentwood Drive. Then, I rode to campus, with a loop on the Boyson Trail first. On campus, I climbed the MMU hill four times. That morning ride totaled 10 miles.

Victory selfie with Sister Frances on MMU campus after four morning hill climbs.

My goal today was to make a preliminary plan for the Fall Faculty Series at MMU, and do some other work. I never did get to the “other work,” but planning the series was rewarding. It’s good to look ahead to an exciting event, whether it’s RAGBRAI or our fall series this year on immigration.

I left campus a bit before 3. It was hot, but it was my plan to get some “hot” miles in today. Riding safely in heat is a key RAGBRAI skill, given that the ride is during the hottest part of an Iowa summer. In June, there aren’t likely to be that many days with a temperature over 90, so today was an opportunity.

I took advantage of the heat by riding to the Prairie Park Fishery. Despite it being over 90—a bank thermometer on the way home read 94, and by then I think it had started to cool, just a bit—the ride wasn’t so bad. When it gets over 100, any breeze can make things worse by blowing hot air over you, but if the air temperature is below body temperature, even just by a few degrees, moving air helps, and the air was moving today.

Cedar Lake. Water a bit choppy and conditions a bit windy, but some hardy person is out on a kayak. I was eating a bag of nuts at about 4:30 p.m., taking a break. That's one key to hot rides--ride for a while and then rest awhile.
Bank thermometer near my house.
40-minute ride from Cedar Lake.

I deliberately took it easy. I’m normally not a fast biker, but I was lazing along, even for me, and ensuring I took drinks at least every 15 minutes. I felt a little bad about 5 miles into the ride, but honestly felt better after that—I think my body adjusted.

Anyway, the afternoon ride added another 20 miles, so I hit 30 for this very hot day. I still haven’t done a 60-mile day, and want to do that soon—but I’ll save that for a day when the bank thermometer isn’t reading 94.

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