51 miles. I was hoping for good weather that would allow us to go further than the 40 miles we had done twice a few weekends ago. Bingo – great sun, but a wind from the NNE. Jessica was rested and ready, her performance would show that in stars! We left after 1pm, hopes of finishing and going to church and a nice dinner in our heads.
We went north into a tough wind, but my legs felt really fresh, even with a 10 mile run this morning. We meander through Jupiter Island’s curves and the traffic that accompanies a later than noon start. At Bridge Rd we go past the park, heading for the wind of Gomez Road and Dixie Hwy along the tracks. Jessica is a strong rider, in her speed and her road skills. It’s wonderful to ride a training session and not have to “let up” for her. She is very happy and confident on two wheels!
We stop at Sandsprit Park, take a moment to look at the harbor, then start back home. If we can get back in time for church at 5pm, that would be great.
The ride home isn’t like last time we finished 50. We do not benefit from a tailwind, it’s alomost as if the eastrly wind has flakes of southeast in there, too. We are feeling some headwinds all the way home, even as we get conflicting evidence from flags in the wind. As we pass the Bridge Rd park, Jessica zips past me and takes to the front, I look down and see I’m going 16.9mph. I am lagging and running low on energy, she is not backing down or tired today! She rides well the length of the island, keeping me at a faster pace than I’d carry alone, my legs and energy level are sagging. We come into the familiar “wind tunnel” area, it’s a challenging ride to the bridge off the island. Jess is still all fired up and moving very well with less than 7 miles to go. I see her blast down the US-1 bridge at a great speed, and her pace carries through to Beach Road. Very impressive!
Once home, we talk about the ride. Yes we needed a long one like that, we acknowledge that we worked hard in the wind, and most of all, Jessica’s energy level was amazing! I love to see these mini-breakthrough moments, I know how much athleticism and drive is packed into this great girl!