Road rides in February. Cool? I guess. It's nice to get a jump on cycling fitness heading into what I hope will be a good year racing but road rides in February?? Felt kinda funny walking my bike past all the skis out of the basement this morning.
Plan was to drive up to Plymouth and try to tag Halls Brook and Stinson Mtn before calling it a day. Forecast was for plenty of sunshine and temps in the high 30's. Getting out to Rumney was a chore. Brisk headwind on Fairgrounds Rd made it pretty difficult and cold but still manageable. Started Halls Brook feeling pretty good and I felt like I was riding fairly strong. I had a decent tempo going and was ticking right along enjoying the views of the ice falls along the side of the road. At the time I felt like I had a good ride going and that I might be threatening my personal best. Pretty hilarious how often I forget that if you are feeling really good on a climb, like you're barely even working it is probably because you are barely working and going really slow. Ended up several minutes slower than my PB. But I was feeling good!
Still had to get up and over N. Groton Rd. Temps were dropping up high a bit and I was (not) looking forward to the descent. Didn't take long for the core temp to drop. Fingers went numb, luckily you don't really need to use brakes on that descent. Eye's were tearing up a bit from the cold wind and the tears were freezing to my face shortly after. Quite awesome. Got down to Rt. 118 just in time for some more descending. This got me really excited. Nothing quite like some nausea inducing frost pains. But I've been that cold before so I knew I would be fine but I needed to warm up sooner rather than later.
Luckily the haul back on Rt.25 is basically flat so I put it in my 44-11 (thats all I got on the touring bike) and just started hammering. Winds had gone swirly on me a bit but its just as well, in this instance I would have even preferred a straight head wind. Anything to get me working harder and get warm blood pumping to my extremities. At this point I decided that a big climb (and descent) on Stinson was probably a bad idea. Not sure I could take another deep freeze like that so I kept on the gas and took Rt. 25 straight back into Plymouth. Pushing hard on the flats did the trick and I was 'comfortable' again within maybe 5-10mins. The temps were warming up a bit as well and the sun felt good. It was actually a pretty nice end to the ride.