This week ended well: a 31-mile road ride at a good pace, despite high winds.
It was the rest of the week that sucked: a dramatic temperature drop, days of unbroken dark clouds, and heavy rains that have left the Riverfront Parkway impassable in Quaas Creek Park and Riverside Park. A big chunk of West Bend is flooded, and I feel like my cycling season is drowning in sympathy. The great enthusiasm I had coming out of last weekend’s cyclocross race at Humboldt Park in Milwaukee turned into complete apathy yesterday when I decided not to line up for PumpkinCross in Grafton.
OK, so I was coming off an overnight shift and I had a bit of soreness in my lower back, but those aren’t the reasons I didn’t race on Saturday. I simply didn’t want to. I was convinced the rain was coming and selfishly I hoped that it would come quickly and severely enough to absolve me of any responsibility to decide whether I would compete. As Saturday morning turned into Saturday afternoon, it was clear that the rain wouldn’t stop the race. By that time, though, I was so far away from where I needed to be mentally that there was no question about competing. I was switched off.
I spent an hour on the turbo trainer in the home gym on Saturday. I was there on Thursday too, trying to make something out of a week so abbreviated by bad weather. But those sessions were poor substitutes for riding outside, and my 6:45 in the saddle this week is my shortest effort since the last week of May. That’s 6:45 total, indoor and outdoor. Pretty lame.
I’m trying to be optimistic about the week ahead. We should be in the mid-60s and dry Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, then still reasonably warm but maybe a little wet on Thursday and Friday. I’m not worried about finding time to ride outside in the week to come. I am worried about missing another race: Saturday’s forecast for Badger Prairie Cross includes temperatures in the low 40s and high winds. We could be looking at sub-freezing wind chill, and I’m just not willing to endure it.
If only there were someplace else that had cyclocross races … someplace reliably warmer, yet still close enough to reach in a reasonable amount of time by car, and preferably with a Sunday schedule so that I can get some F-ing sleep. If you’re thinking Illinois, then you’re not alone. I ordered my I-PASS yesterday. How’s that for optimism, that chance I will do enough races south of the state line to make an Illinois Tollway auto-pay device seem like a good acquisition? I did a gravel road race in Illinois earlier this year, and I did two cyclocross races down there in 2017, so don’t say it won’t happen. I’m not ready to write off the 2019 season.