Start time, and my only bike put together was my Lemond. Sean texts and asks if he could use my bike. I didn't have one for him. He was going to use Bryan's Bianchi, but again asked if he could borrow some lightweight gloves from me. All he had were some Pearl Izumi Inferno gloves. I was going to need all the gloves I had (liners and some wind resistant medium weight gloves), so I let him know that he should definitely use his Infernos. I think he was glad he did.
I stopped by the shop and got some Planet Bike strap on fenders for my Lemond. They worked quite well.
Met up with Bryan and Sean on the Keystone and the plan was to go NorthEast to Fort Calhoun then play around Ponca hills till we got close to 4 hours. Brady and his Bro John were going to meet us by Boyers Chute since they had stuff to do earlier. It wasn't bad at first with no rain and 36 degrees. We got to Fort Calhoun and it started to rain again. That was bad. It all went downhill from there....even though we did many uphills. Met Brady and John right before the climb by Neal Woods. Bryan we feeling fiesty for some reason, so the hills hurt a bit.
After getting to the Ponca/NP Dodge area, we did some laps. I was good on the first couple of hills, but we hit the 2:30 ride time mark, and I putzed out. So I got a hard ride barrier to break through again. I remember when I was a cat 3, riding with Randell and I would always hit a barrier at about 3 hours. I got over that with lots of training. So looks like I gotta start all over again.
Anyway, after a couple laps, Brady wanted to stop by their car (parked at NP Dodge) and get some dry gloves since his were soaked. I was in the exact same boat. I couldn't shift at all since I had no blood going to my fingers. It was more than a little uncomfortable. But once I got some dry gloves on, Oh man, that was sweet.
We did one final lap and started to head home. We could tell the cold front was coming in since the wind changed and our faces all froze. Sean, who was using Bryan's heavy (27 lb) Bianchi commuter, was dragging behind since the bike was too big and too heavy. I've done the bike switch and long ride deal before so I know how painful it is. You just can't be yourself on someone else's bike. Sorry we left you behind so many times, Sean. Way to tough it out.
So, overall, we survived, but barely. Peeling my shoes and socks off, my toes looked like the chicken I pulled out of the freezer this morning: white, and dead looking. Every time I do one of these rides, that's what happens to my toes. If only I had fat feet. Alas, my non-padded meta tarsels don't work well for heat. Such is life.
Who knows if we're going out again tomorrow. It's supposed to be kinda like today, but oh yeah, 20-30 mph winds. Eh, maybe not.