Man it was windy today! I left the house at 11:00 this morning hoping to get in 5 hrs. on the bike. The first hour wasn't bad, I had a pretty stiff crosswind through to the North side of Mount Pleasant. Stopped by the shop to pick up some water and shed some layers. Good timing as I had to pee so bad I rode the last 2 miles standing up.
After the short stop I pushed on North to Francis Marion Natnl. Forest and miles of quiet paved roads and tons of gravel forest roads. After the rash of flats I was ready for gravel and had installed some new tires. I was packin' 2 tubes, a patch kit, 3 CO2s, an inflator, and my frame pump taped on. ( Traditional road frames are the only ones that really work- but they don't fit on Madones without a little riggin' ) I turned left on Guerin's Bridge road and was dead on into the wind for the next 3 hours. Great. What the heck- I need to do an hour or so of Tempo so that actually worked out well. Put it on 280-300 watts and rolled. A little over an hour later I was done with that interval, ended up averaging 290 watts. Still feeling strong I hit the gravel road network for awhile, ending up at the Witherbee Ranger Station to fill up my bottles again. Somewhere along the line I heard a pop. Looking back at my rear wheel I saw no problems and kept rolling. Must have been the wind or lack of food, or fatigue that I didn't notice the broken spoke in my front wheel. Not good on an 18 spoke, paired spoke wheel. That thing was so far out of whack that it wouldn't even spin with the brake released. I managed to twist up the offending spoke pretty good, offset my brake some, and the wheel turned again. How long had that been going on? I heard it pop a ways back!
Anyways- Made it to Monk's Corner by a little over 4 hrs. in. Stopped for more water and food and got ready to finish it up back to Charleston. Only 40 some odd miles to go. I had calculated that I would get a tailwind now. Due to the incredibly competent Meteorologists at the weather channel these calculations were a little off. Another crosswind it is! At least I didn't have my nose in the headwind anymore though. Turns out that the wind wasn't bad as I made it back to Charleston in a little under 2 hrs. Crossed over the connector to James Island with a tailwind ( finally) and rolled on in right at 6 hrs of riding, 113 miles, 142 avg. HR, and a 218 watt average. Not a bad day's work. It's suppose to get really cold again tonight and tomorrow. That's fine- I think I'm scheduled for 1/2 hr or 1 hr. at the most on the rollers tomorrow morning. Nice, easy spin to clear out the junk from today. I think I'm gonna go surf the couch for awhile!