First wintery ride of the season! (Is autumny a word?)

Today I rode with one of the groups that depart from Society Cycle Works each Saturday morning. What made today special is that the first real-honest-to-God cold front came through on Friday and the temperature this morning  was 45 degrees. Yikes! This just got real, y’all. I’ve been moaning about our unseasonably warm weather for over a month but today, it was downright cool. So, pre-ride dressing took on more significance than color coordinating. Dressing properly in Winter is pretty important and when that first day of the season arrives there’s that touch of doubt that comes from faded eight month-old memories.

I usually check the weather forecast to determine temperature range, wind speed and direction through the course of the ride. It’s always best to dress so that you’ll be a little cold before you start riding. Layering is good technique to use here in southeast Texas because it’s always going to warm up. Rarely will low temperatures last through the end of the ride (though it has happened on occasion). But the forecast today called for 40s at the start and warming to high 50s by midday. Bib knickers, long sleeve jersey and a base layer worked well and I never felt over-dressed.

I rode with the race team today and couldn’t maintain contact through the entire route. The small group I was in did manage to catch up to them on the return trip but something weird happened at one point. The group slowed down to an unusually slow pace for few minutes before speeding up again. Then, it happened again, causing the group to compress suddenly. Up ahead, a tall guy at the front was looking back and speaking in a loud voice but I couldn’t understand what he was saying. He was motioning like he was eating something while talking to the guys behind him. Was he asking for food because he was bonking and couldn’t maintain the pace? Or, was he suggesting something to eat to the riders behind him? Who knows but at the next intersection, several of us decided to bail out of that nonsense and took an alternative route back to Sugar Land. Group rides can be fun until they’re not. Large groups are more of a challenge and sudden unexpected slowing is dangerous when riders are tired.

And lastly, autumny is a word. And so is Fally, as in Fally Ipupa.

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