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View From the Top of Britannia Rd.

March 11, 2012

Today’s Ride: 48km—Waterdown, Cedar Springs, Britannia

Weather: 12c, sunny. Wind

Early March and absolutely beautiful weather. Wind was a little high, but I have seen more cyclists on the road today than on any other single ride, even at the height of last summer. That’s how nice it was. I wore fingerless gloves for the first time this year. The wind was strong enough that I opted for arm and leg warmers, but I would have survived without them. And nothing but a helmet—no beanie or cap. Great conditions.

The ride was shaped by two factors. First, the wind. A sign that my fitness isn’t where I want it: the idea of riding into strong headwinds made me tired, and I made the turn at Cedar Springs rather than continuing along 1 Sideroad to Walkers Line. This with a tailwind, but the prospect of an extended ride into the wind on the homeward leg on Britannia didn’t appeal a great deal. As it was, I handled the wind rather well. Perhaps the single greatest influence of the strength training has been that I am able to turn a good crank into the wind without as much misery as in the past. I wasn’t tired and I was moving well. I still probably made the right decision. My back tightened up rather badly on Wednesday’s ride, and was quite uncomfortable. This is a common occurrence early in the year, so I wasn’t surprised, but I suspect the added exertion into the wind would have aggravated it even further. I had a bit of stiffness, but nothing untoward.

The second feature of the ride was a first wearing of a pair of Giordana FormaRed bibshorts I bought at the end of last season (saving them for better weather). Good Lord! These are the finest cycling shorts I have ever worn. When I tried them on in December, their length seemed a bit long (they have thick, gripping bands (no silicone, though) at the bottom of the leg), but once in the saddle, they were just perfect. Comfortable from the first stroke. A couple of hours in, it’s like I was molded to the saddle. So comfortable, moving with me, not against me. The front hits the midsection just right: not too low, not too high. The “Made in Italy” tag is another really nice touch. I’ll need to give them a few washes and put in some longer rides, but life was that much better this afternoon, thanks to the new shorts.

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