45.85 Miles 05/28/11 - A tale of two rides.

After a few short windy rides earlier in the week (10 & 16 miles) I was beginning to wonder if I'd even reach 200 miles for May.  Saturday's weather wasn't looking too promising - cloudy, 60 degrees, and a very good chance for rain.  Nonetheless, I knew at least one other Joliet Bicycle Club member would be riding out of Mather Woods if it wasn't raining, so I decided to join.

It turns out over a dozen showed up.  The forecast for 10 mph winds was woefully underestimated, as seems to be the norm this year.  I forgot my jacket, too... it was shorts and short sleeved jersey for me. 

After a few miles I warmed up and we made our way to Plattville, about 11 miles away.  At that time I checked the radar and it looked like the rain would hold off, so we continued on to Newark (another 11 miles away).  The ride there was at a fairly easy pace with a few stops to make sure everyone caught up and new how to get there.  We rolled into the small town of Newark which has a BP that is quite popular with cyclists on the weekend.  After taking a break it looked like the rain would catch us.  I also had plans in the afternoon that I had to be back for.  Thankfully we took an easy route back, and this allowed for the group to split up a bit.  I ended up in a hammerfest (well, for me :) ) with husband & wife Bob & Judy all the way back.  The tailwind we were expecting ended up being a stupid crosswind, but that didn't stop a 19mph average on the return.  It took a 13.2 average on the way out into a 15.8 average overall.  That 20 miles back was the best I've felt on the bike this year.