Sunday, March 16, 2014

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe: Choosing an Early Spring Brevet

I did it. I just clicked the “pay now” button for my first brevet of the 2014 season and, boy, did it feel good. While I’ve not ridden nearly as much as I would have liked at this point in the year, I couldn’t be happier that the rubber will finally hit the road on March 29 when I clip in at the start of the MD 200K. I thought something special was in order this year to kick off the season and with the average temperature differential between New England and Maryland hovering around 10F, I’m wagering that it may just be a bit milder (and more pleasant) on this early season brevet if I drive five hours south.

I’ve sampled a range of brevet series over the years, but never I've never ridden in the MD/Capital Region. Beyond the potentially milder weather, I’m also excited to clip in with a different group of randos than I’m typically riding with. There are some familiar names on the roster and it will be exciting to put names to faces as I make the transition from social network acquaintance to real life riding companion.

This brevet also appeals to me because the start is just 15 minutes from my sister-in-law’s house and a nice visit with family before and after the ride should be a whole lot of fun. Who knows, I may even be able to convince my kids to come down with me. Hell, my daughter could even share the driving. Unfortunately, my wife needs to work on Saturday so she won’t be able to join in the excitement.

We had some lovely spring weather yesterday, but I was tied up with a family event all day and today the mercury plunged back down into the low 30s. So much for a full day of base miles! I got out for a nice hilly loop, though, which put some added spring into my legs.  I have a nice ride scheduled with a friend on Tuesday afternoon when temperatures climb back into the 40s. This winter just doesn’t want to let go, but I did pass a stand of maple trees tapped for syrup production. In fact, as I was taking the photo above, the farmer came up to say hi. When I mentioned how pleased I was to see tapped maple trees as they are a sure sign of spring, he immediately told me how glad he was to see me as he associates cyclists with the coming of spring. I guess it's all relative. 

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