The truth is that a few days off not only never hurt anyone, they actually might help. After not feeling like I could get my rides done last week and taking a few rides off, today I was determined to get 45 miles in. It’s the longest ride I’ve done yet this season–although I have already done a couple of this length–and it has three significant hills in it, so it’s definitely a challenge.
When I’m in decent shape and not making a lot of stops, I try to finish this ride in about three hours. I was hoping to start this one at 5 am and finish around 8, but that didn’t happen. I ended up getting on the road at around 6:40 am. It was a bit overcast, which has its pluses and minuses–in the positive category, it’s cool. In the negative category, rain can lead to slick roads and poor visibility, which can be dangerous.
I headed off and realized about half a mile into the ride that I had forgotten a spare tube. I did have a patch kit and tire irons, so I decided to go ahead and risk it, having inflated my tires to 120 psi before I left. The ride was pretty nice and a hair wet until I hit the town part of Kailua, about a quarter way in, when it became really wet. I thought about turning around before I headed into Waimanalo–the road along that way is a rural highway, one lane each way, with some fast hills downhill and tough uphills, so if it was really wet it might be a bit dangerous. The rain subsided, however, and I proceeded into Waimanalo.
It was still a bit damp throughout the ride, and I got into a fairly stiff headwind this persisted until I made the turn into the last hill going out (Makapu’u), which is a serious looking hill when you get there from the windward side of the island but really isn’t all that tough in the mornings since there’s usually a tailwind to help you up the hill. I got to the top and took a quick break, then headed back down, where I ran into a stiff wind that pushed me toward the middle of the road (this is along a cliff, so that was better than one that pushed me the other way) during a 40 mph downhill–the feeling can only be described as exciting.
About an hour and a half later I ended up at home, no injuries or mechanicals of any kind.
I’m glad I didn’t turn around early due to the weather, and I’m really glad I took those days off. Now I feel like I can take on 60 miles–and I will this coming week!