It was late after a great meal at The Whale of A Tale in Nags Head, NC that Dad, David and I signed-up for the Tour of Richmond. I remember that it was late August and we were comfortable outside in our t-shirts and shorts.
Fast forward to this past weekend and one major thing had changed - the temperature. It was going to be 44 degrees at the start of the ride. When we woke up, it was 38 degrees. My body wasn't quite ready for the cold, so I wanted so badly to overdress, but I knew we'd warm up as the day went on and the miles passed.
The weather man said it would hover around 60 degrees at the warmest part of the day, so there was going to be about a 20 degree swing in temp from when we left the house. Plus we needed to factor in the wind from riding at speeds between 10-30 miles an hour. Ouch.
To combat the weather, I dressed in layers. As a cyclist you don't want to get too cold or too hot. You want to find the happy medium, and to do so, you must wear layers. No jersey with a big, fluffy, down jacket because you'll get to hot, but be too cold if you take it off.
What I wore:
Darn Tough Wool Socks
Bluestone Race Jersey
Ednura Leg Warmers
Cannondale Mid-weight Long Sleeve Jersey
Endura Wool Multi-Tube
Endura Mid-weight Gloves
Endura Arm Warmers
When the ride started I was chilly, but as my heart rate climbed, so did my body's temperature and after a few minutes I was comfortable. There were certainly cooler parts of the ride during the morning, but the cold never affected my riding.
At our first stop, which was Aid 2 (Aid 1 wasn't marked very well), I removed my arm warmers and my multi-tube. It was mid-morning and the sun was shining, so I wouldn't need those extra layers. I stuffed them in my jersey pocket, ate two Uncrustables (delicious PB&J sandwiches), drink a bottle of water and then we were off.
I was a little cool as we left the aid station, but again it didn't take long to warm up once we were moving.
The Tour of Richmond, was truly that. We rode through the city, then out to New Kent, and back through Hanover to arrive back at the Richmond Raceway. The first 50 miles were more enjoyable than the second in terms of scenery; however, this is a must ride for anyone in Richmond. In the first 50 or so miles, you ride through the heart of downtown Richmond, along the James River, near Civil War memorials, and in some farm land. In the second 50 it is mainly farmland with some neat "tree tunnels", as I like to call them.
Around mile 45, my brother knocked his wheel out of true on some road debris. We stopped for a while to get it going again and made it to the next aid station and had the mechanic double check our work. Thankfully, everything look good!
We snacked on pretzels, granola, and some bananas and were off again.
My dad, at 58, was going strong and would have pulled us all day if he had to. It was fun to see him riding so well. David, was riding great too, especially for taking a month or so off the bike to train for the Richmond Half Marathon; which he'll run in the next couple weeks. His endurance was there, but his body wasn't liking his seat after mile 50 ;).
The three of us pushed on through the highs and lows of the ride. By mile 75 I had my vest unzipped, but I eventually zipped it back up as we hit a cool spot around the mid-80's.
We cruised across the finish line in 8 hours and 15 minutes, which isn't flying by any means, but for us it was great. My Garmin had us moving for around 6 and a half hours. Which would make sense with the aid station and bike mechanical time.
The food at the finish line was very good. Thanks to Martin's Foods as the ride's title sponsor. We had mini-pumpkin pies and BBQ. After filling our bellies, we hoped in the car and set our sites on the next century the three Coleman men could conquer!