Here is a news flash for you - summer is finally here! It arrived just in time for mid-July riding after nearly doing in the Ironman racers in late June with near freezing water temperatures. I am a bonafide - hot-weeny when it comes to riding in warmer temperatures. My preferred ambient temperature is between 55F - 65F which means I need to get out early in the day when highs will be in the normal summer range.
Today, I was thinking of doing just that, but various activities kept delaying my departure to the point where I would be about 5 or 6 hours later than normal. This would not be critical as the temperatures would still be in the 70s. As I pondered this scenario, I started thinking back to the seemingly endless winter and late spring and summer and how looking forward to summer heat is all that sustained me during those times. Today, I wanted to feel the heat that I dreamed of for months on end. To do so meant I would have to go about 3pm to experience riding at the high temperature of the day - 90F.
As I rolled up Baltimore about 3:15, I could feel waves of heat radiating up from the pavement. Occasionally, I would feel a bit of breeze, but it too was just like a blast furnace on my face. I usually, start perspiring toward the top of the two mile climb, but today it evaporated as soon as it hit my skin so I felt amazingly dry. My throat was parched at the top of the climb and the tepid water in my bottle felt great. I savored the heat knowing that the days are getting shorter and I felt just a little bit of fall on yesterday morning's ride - it was as if I hoped I could somehow store it up to use on a dark, cold day in December.
Another thing I noticed is my knees did not feel sore as they usually do on the morning rides in cool temperatures and just out of bed. My cadence was higher (not a bad thing for me) since I knew I would blow-up trying to push higher gears. I still did not feel uncomfortable even nearing the top of my second climb up Jamison - just a really dry throat from the effort of the climb. I was comfortable throughout the ride and found I was really enjoying it - to the point of thinking how I can get some more hot rides in before the weather turns cold. By that point, if I have a bunch of hot rides under my belt, the change will feel good even though I have to add a layer of clothing. Hopefully, I will be ready for it and feel I pulled the most heat from this short summer as possible.
See you on the road.