Left the house at 5:30 AM this morning, with a plan to ride to Winterset, ride the long loop of BRAMCO, eat, and then ride home. With the winds forecast to be out of the SW at 15 - 20, I opted to leave the LHT at home and hit the road with the Paramount underneath me. I took just about every major rode possible over to the south side of town since the trails were likely to be either flooded or filled with debris. 86th to Douglas to Hickman to 8th and then 63rd street to Army Post road. A couple of turns later and I met Sue, Pat and Gabrielle in Cumming for the rest of the ride to Winterset. We left Cumming at 7 and made good time to Winterset, in spite of the winds. Madison County roads G14 and G7R to Winterset are probably one of my favorite rides that I take throughout the year. The route starts with some really nice hills and ridgeline roads and ends with some nice flat sections that usually have a reasonable amount of headwind. You almost always see other bikers somewhere along the route. Saturday was no exception as we passed a couple of triathletes returning from a morning ride.
I arrived at the Winterset City Park with a little over 40 miles on my legs. I registered, snagged something to drink and chatted with people for about 30 minutes before the ride started. I rode with or leapfrogged Sue through East Peru. I rode a good portion after Truro with Tom Anderson, Sammy Lopez, and Jason. Rode up the East Peru hill with no issues, and I generally felt pretty good until we got to Macksburg. I started feeling some fairly localized soreness in the back of my left thigh and decided that I should probably call it quits once we got back into Winterset. Rolled from Macksburg with the tail wind helping us over the hills and rollers, topping out at around 42 MPH down one of the hills. We took a good 15 minute break at final rest stop just south of Hwy 92, talking to some other riders and the volunteers from the Madison County Bike Club. Rode the final 10 miles in on the big ring at around 22 - 23 MPH and pulled into the city park with Tom with 102 on the odometer. Ate a pork sandwich some pasta salad, and a brownie and then hopped in Jason's car with Tom and Sam for the trip back home.
I was a little disappointed that I didn't ride back home, but I didn't want to take a chance of hurting myself. I also wanted those last 40 miles to be good miles and not junk miles, so the ride home was likely the right decision.