|Turning at the Big Dip (click images for larger view)|
When I awoke this morning I could hear the wind outside. I opened the door to my driveway and checked the stiff bush which is surrounded on three sides by house and only moves during hurricanes and other unusual wind events and it was swaying violently. I did not want to ride. Hoping to find justification for jumping back into bed, I checked the weather online. I didn't like what I saw on the most relevant site (observations at MSY) so I checked Lakefront (KNEW). This is what I found:
While MSY was 46/14, taken as a whole, observations were ambiguous at best in light of the Lakefront readings, and, being a lawyer, I believed I could present a colorable argument for returning to the warm contentment of my bed. So I sent Big Rich (considerately including California Rick1) this email at 5:16:
-------- Original Message --------
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 2013 05:16:47 -0600
From: David J. L'Hoste <DJL@DJLphoto.com>
To: Richard B. Ehret <Richard@BEULaw.com>, Rick Aubry <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Lakefront says winds are 20.
MSY has 14 but that will be 20 coming home through Kenner.
In his typically laconic fashion, Rich responded at 5:22 as follows:
YepI was slightly angry with myself because I truly didn't want to face the cold and wind, but I had shown my hand, so to speak, and failed to garner any support from Rich for what I wanted -- validation of my wimpy desire to go back to sleep.
It was about 5:35 when, clad only in boxers and my fleece-lined L.L. Bean slippers, I dragged my bike, which had been untouched for a week, into the utility room to put air in the tires. It was about 5:38 (16 minutes before I needed to leave for the ride) when I pulled the pumphead off the rear wheel and with it came the broken stem core. Great. Now I had less than 25 minutes to change a flat, brush my teeth, fill a water bottle, dig out and put on a full compliment of cold weather gear and ride three miles to Oak and River Road.
Well, now I'm a little conflicted because although I've made the distasteful decision to brave the weather conditions, this unavoidable mechanical failure, totally beyond my control, may well
What? So I tell my wife, "You don't understand. First, Rich would look at me like I was nuts if I did that. Second, it's quarter to 6 and Rich is deep into his pre-ride routine, which I assure you does not include changing my flat. And third, you don't think I can change this flat and make the ride? Is that what you are saying? Because I'll do it. I swear I'll do it."
All of which my wife viewed as a continuation of my earlier whining, and left the room. So I killed myself speed-changing the flat, not eating, speed-dressing, and racing toward Oak and River Road.
I caught Rich at the base of the levee.
Waiting at the start in the biting, icy wind, Rich and I were joined by Randy and Triceps Dave. Rich started bitching about his being too big to get a draft from Randy, Dave and me. Or more accurately, bitching about Randy, Dave and me not being big enough to provide him with a draft. Right after we rolled we were joined by Woody.
The ride out wasn't too bad as the wind moved a little and was more NNE than due N. This, of course, made the ride in miserable. Randy is still injured and could only take abbreviated pulls for part of the ride, and when Woody was on the front I felt like I was on the front because he would up the pace that much. It was almost like pulling twice in a four-man rotation. We saw few people on the levee. Mignon was inbound as we were going out. Donald was heading out as we were coming in. And we passed a rider who Rich said was Racer X (the Bashful Artist), although he was covered head-to-toe, including his face, in black, and I couldn't tell who it was. Someone said he looked like a Ninja.
I was looking forward to Rich's ride profile, thinking the longer, faster pulls by Woody might be discernible, but Rich didn't clear his data from yesterday and his computer treated today's ride like a leg of yesterday's. Maybe Santa will bring me a Garmin for Christmas. If Santa checks his list, he'll see I've been exceptionally good. I rode today.
= = =
1. I included California Rick on this morning's email to Big Rich because Rick rode on Tuesday morning, when MSY was reporting gusts to 29 mph and 41°:
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