Thursday, April 14, 2016

Jeudi, Jeudi, Jeudi

Cary Grant: Classy, on the bike or off.
Like many cyclists I generate a lot of statistics. Some are worthy of analysis because I have competition goals. Others are just numbers. Today’s ride wasn’t outstanding in any measurable way; as “data” it was interesting only because it broke a peculiar streak. I had not done a bike ride on a Thursday since September 24. That was 29 weeks ago.

During the cyclocross season, Thursdays were scheduled rest days. But my last cyclocross race was on November 14, so what accounted for the continuation of the streak during the last 5 months? Not surprisingly, the weather played a major role. On 9 of those Thursdays we had rain or snow. On 9 of those Thursdays the temperature was 32° or colder. On at least 2 of those Thursdays we had sustained winds in excess of 20 mph. No other day of the week was so ill-favored.

I rode outside on 9 of the last 11 weekends—a period that goes back to the end of January—so we didn’t have any abnormally long periods of completely unusable weather. Our longest stretch below freezing was 10 days, which is bad enough but is not out of character for a Wisconsin winter. Thursday simply hit a streak of bad luck, and streaks come to our attention because they defy the law of averages. But the forces that pulled Thursday out of alignment will make it right again, and maybe today was the start.

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