Sunday, March 15, 2009

Braving the Wind to Get to the Ice (Cream)

Saturday's Club Ride got cancelled. Too much steady rain, followed by heavy rain, accompanied by strong wind. So, when the sun finally broke out this afternoon after church, I thought it was time to get a handful of miles in. But, then I considered asking my son, Kyle, to join me. After all, he's going to be working on Cycling merit badge for Boy Scouts in the month ahead and he's got some miles to get in, too!

He was in. But, he informed in not too strong of words, he wasn't going to wear any spandex.

No problem. I'll let him learn the hard way how uncomfortable it is to ride in denim. I was just glad I had a cycling buddy for the afternoon.

We planned our route. He needed a 10 mile ride to knock off one of the Cycling merit badge requirements. So, we opted to head north from our home to Mill Creek's Coldstone Creamery. My wife, Susie, and daughter, Bethany, would drive and meet us there. The sun was out but the wind was blowing. Fortunately, the wind was at our backs, so the ride was a comfortable one, if a little cold.

We arrived at Coldstone to find the other half of our family waiting for us. I chose the coffee ice cream with pecans. Kyle went for the mint and chocolate. Bethany selected cake batter and oreos. Susie mooched off of mine. While we dined on desserts, we watched the weather transform before our eyes. First came the rain. The rain morphed into hail. The wind picked up and drove it all sideways. We began planning our return trip in the back of the minivan.

But this March weather has been fickle at best, and schizophrenic at worst. The rain and hail passed over us and bright blue sky appeared overhead. I encouraged Kyle to finish what we had started and coaxed him with a return route sans hills.

We turned south down Bothell-Everett Highway riding headlong into about a 10-15 mile wind with 30 mph gusts. I soon realized that an additional layer or two (or four) would have been advisable as I shuddered in the cold icy gale. Admirably, Kyle was pedaling along nicely. Not complaining at all about the wind.

Soon, we turned the corner into our neighborhood and found relief from the relentless gusts. We rode along the quiet neighborhood streets, while I picked a few extra streets to make sure our final miles added to an even ten.

As we pulled into the driveway, I gave Kyle a high five. Then I hit the shower to warm up while he fell on his bed to give his jello-like legs a much needed rest.

One 10-mile ride ride done. Cycling merit badge is now underway. I can't wait to tell Kyle about requirement #9.

That's the 50-miler...

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