Jen's catch-up ride to Starbucks
We had a lot to do this weekend. October weekends on the coast are always full of places to go and things to do on the panhandle. Perfect weather, usually in the 70's as highs, with early morning rides hovering around the 60's. We had no such luck this weekend. Muggy and windy tropical system started to come in and it felt like late August with 80 degree weather. I hate mid-August weather and humidity.
Jen started the weekend by riding to
Starbucks to 'make up' her first ride. She was all business on Saturday, riding the dreaded Highway 98 with our daughter. Just eeked in a 2.4 mile round trip ride to add it to the books and catch up to me with three rides a piece. She said it was quite the windy ride on the way back, but she and Avery got it done. They both enjoyed a chocolate chip frappuccino so hopefully, they had plenty of energy to ride the bike back against the wind from the west at about 15 mph.
Sunday's Ride (Bagelheads)
We had a late night on Saturday as my brother-in-law's band played at the Bridgebar, then wifey spent some time on the beach. I headed home as I was tired from a day of football, drinking, band listening, and overall awesomeness. 11PM gets a little late for me after a long day--Jen went out with her cousin and brother and friends and hung out until about 12:15AM.
The original plan was to ride early to Pensacola as the remnants of Hurricane Patricia were heading our way. We really didn't want to get caught up in any of that stuff but it was a little hard to wake up early on Sunday morning from the prior day's activities. Needless to say, we got ourselves out of bed, checked the local weather forecast and were able to hop on the tandem for and 'easy' ride to Pensacola. We met Joe and Amber, along with a late arrival by our daughter--she REALLY likes to sleep in--and headed over. The trip over was effortless and the weather, although humid wasn't horrible until we got to the three mile bridge. The wind picked up. I was a little concerned how easy the ride westbound was, because, as all cyclists know--usually when it's a little TOO easy, there usually a helpful windy friend at your back. My fears were realized once we had to double back in order to get to the Northbound bridge. I think the winds were only blowing about 10 knots but seemed to be getting stronger by the minute. Oh well. In it to win it, right?
We made it to Bagelheads with no problems. Ha.
The ride back was a different story. After spending about an hour at bagelheads loading up on black coffee, tea, smoothies and bagels about the size of my head, we headed back.
The wind was needless to say--hell. Luckily it was straight out of the east so, although the bridge wasn't extremely hard, the rain chance of 50% made an appearance. At the top of the bridge. Although it wasn't a pelting rain, riding in rain is never fun, especially when riding on the front of a tandem with carbon handlebars and no wrap or grip. Bad decision. VERY luckily, it only lasted about a half mile, however the vast expanse of water opened up to definite heavy rains from the east. I really didn't know what we were in for as our home was another six miles to the east. Luckily it never rained on us again.
We had to stop on the bridge as soon as the rain stopped, due to my daughter's problem knees and, riding Jen's bike, not being able to keep up with us. Since I wanted to be home before midnight, I decided to let her be my stoker and Jen hopped back on her bike for the rest of the trip. Not sure it was the best decision as the new stoker wasn't able to push the pedals too hard. She held her own though so I was happy with that.
Everything was going fine until we headed completely eastbound into the monster. The wind was blowing at about 25 knots right at us now and it felt like I was holding on to the rear brake. Just awful, but an experience nonetheless. The final mile and a half was a final ha-ha by God on our end of trip. The rains started about an hour later, I guess--I wouldn't know when they started, as I pulled out my power napping ability, after about 32 oz of coffee, i'm not sure it worked, but it sure tasted good.
Everyone is caught up on rides now at 4. Jen, Rob, Joe and Amber. Go us!
Avery has an honorable mention right now with 3. Maybe she'll be able to catch up to us.