5:00am came and went. So did 5:30am and 6:00am. At 6:30am I finally dragged my lazy butt out of bed. It took me a few minutes to find all my clothes, jacket, gloves, etc., but by 7:00am I was on the road. It was later than I would have liked, but I was riding come hell or high water. High water was possibly an option given that it was very overcast and the threat of rain was immanent.

Given my limited time, I had to do the 10 mile loop which I hadn’t done in about a week. When I reached the big climb on Pettus, just after the half way point, I stopped and jimmied the chain onto the small front sprocket. My front derailleur is still not shifting to the small gear and I knew I’d need it if I had any chance of climbing the hill. I used every low gear I had until I reached my very last on my 21 speed setup, but I made it up the hill! As my body was screaming from the pain, I looked to my left and saw the view that always takes my breath away.

The entire ride went without event until I reach my subdivision on the way back, then it started to rain pretty heavily. School children waiting for the bus went running for cover as the rain, and Juliet approached. All the girls were screaming and laughing as they ran for someone’s house all the while forgetting that they left their books sitting on the curb.

I never shifted out of the front low gear because I knew that my hill was waiting for me. My average speed may have suffered, but it was worth it. With rain dropping like a ball bearings, I turned up the hill, tucked my head down and began pedaling. I had the same weight that I’ve been riding with for the past few rides, so this was the heaviest I’ve been. Not focusing on the steep of the incline, I kept my focus on my front wheel and kept pedaling. At the halfway point, I was surprised at how easy it was going. That’s when it got a little harder and the teeth came out to bite at more air. Even though it became more difficult in the last half, I knew I had it. This time was easier than the last time.

A great ride, I’m only sorry I had to cut it short.

Total Distance: 9.92
Ride Time: 1:01
Avg Speed: 9.71
Max Speed: 36.2