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Commute Loop – 2023.12.12

When a friend is tantalizingly close to accomplishing a major goal for the year, you do your best to support them, and when they don’t like riding alone, you ride with them. That’s how I found myself getting up before 4:00 a.m. to ride out with them at 5:00 a.m. to tack on some extra miles before heading into the office.

I made the quick ride up to the top of Democracy and an even quicker ride down to Inspirada to pick up Joy outside her gate. During our conversation the night before she was itching for around 50 miles in order to keep on track of hitting her 12K goal for the year. As we rode out to Las Vegas Blvd I gave her a few riding options for once we had to part ways. Despite it being cold we warmed up quite nicely once we started working.

The ride down to Jean started tough. I’ve been lugging around some fatigue with a big mileage weekend, a gym session yesterday, and really poor sleep the past few nights. I really felt like I was struggling on the climb south out of Sloan. Then at some point my legs came alive, I started feeling much better, much stronger, and it felt like we were making decent time.

We rolled into the Terrible’s and straight into the entrance to get out of the cold. Shortly thereafter we were approached by a security guard complaining that we couldn’t park the bikes inside. 27°F outside and they’re worried about two bikes on their floors. Anyway, we moved the bikes outside and took turns using the restroom. While I sat in the entrance waiting for Joy to finish in the ladies, the security guard approached me and this time he insisted that he’d watch the bikes while I used the restroom. I explained that I was good and that we’re used to taking turns with one of us watching the bikes while the other used the bathroom. I suspect the guy was feeling like a heel for giving us a hard time about parking the bikes inside. Soon enough it was time to get back underway or I risked being late to work.

As we left Terrible’s we were absolutely freezing. Stopping had allowed us to cool off and now we had to get all warmed back up. I don’t know about Joy, but I’d guess it took maybe 2-3 miles before I warmed up enough to not notice the cold. Joy mentioned she’d like to get a cool sunrise picture at the Seven Magic Mountains if we could. As we drew closer I asked her if she wanted to stop and after looking at the skies she said to just roll on. Sadly the skies were a little too cloudy to the east and the sun wasn’t peeking out from underneath to light them up at all. It made the entire skyline very dull and gray.

Once we reached the top of the climb out of Jean and started the descent into town I let out a holler of excitement. I was so happy to have the climbing out of the way and I looked forward to the downhill slide all the way to the office. Joy and I really picked up the pace and were cruising along pretty good. I was kinda heartbroken to hit the light at Volunteer red because we’d been cruising along so good. It worked out because it allowed the two of us to figure out what we were going to do. Joy decided she’d head west into Southern Highlands and on to Mountains Edge at Starr while I continued north to the office. We said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.

At this point I could have easily dialed it all the way down to commute level, but even the slow ish roll we did between St. Rose and Starr made my legs start to ache up. Oddly it felt better to put in some effort. So effort it was all the way to campus. I was pleasantly surprised with brand new asphalt on Las Vegas Blvd from the 215 all the way to Russell. Quite the contrast to the tore up jacked up road that had been under construction for what feels like the better part of a year. It made for a much more enjoyable ride along this section of busier road.

The ride home was tough. It felt like I had absolutely nothing. I was sore all over the place and just wanted to get home. I had seriously considered calling in a SAG, but I stuck with it and made it all the way home without incident.

New bike fund: $35.06 (+$0.30)
0.24 new miles — From
352 vehicles @ 5.2 per mile, 1.6 per minute, Speeds: 35.6 mph (avg), 59.2 mph (max) — by
Mostly clear-Clear, 35°F-55°F, Feels like 37°F-56°F, Humidity 35%-21%, Wind SW 2mph-S 3mph — by
myWindsock Report —
Weather Impact: 5.3%
Headwind: 56% @ 4.5-8.9mph
Longest Headwind: 10h 0m 33s
Air Speed: 18.9mph
Temp: 37.3-50.6°F
Precip: 0% @ 0 Inch/hr
— END —

Total distance: 67.27 mi
Max elevation: 3129 ft
Min elevation: 1906 ft
Total climbing: 2565 ft
Total descent: -2583 ft
Average speed: 20.77 mi/h
Total time: 14:03:06
Published inCommuteCycling

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