This one will take some time to recollect and organize -- but, it will certainly be a doozey of a post. I don't know if I can safely speak for the veterans among the KCUC crew, but as far as my 11 years worth of brevets and permanents, yesterday will stick out in memory as having the toughest, nastiest conditions I've ever endured. The first half of the ride was actually close to perfection: tailwind, not too cool, light traffic, which produced a solid 16.7 MPH average at the halfway point. Turning back north and east for home, however, Glen & I simply started laughing... the promised NE headwind which would daunt us for the entire 2nd half of the ride wasn't only real, it was gusty and cold. Glen had been strong all day, and as the pack of 18 had long since spread out I ended up on a solo mission for some of the tough bits. Wind I can handle... cold is fine... even cold and wet is okay once in a while. Wool, fenders, good rain jacket... no worries. But, right as we left the Osawatomie Casey's, the sleet had begun. From there, bad became worse. The rando spirit pushed to the extreme, strangely our smiles only widened as we made our way north into the wind and heavy, wet snowfall. The roads became slick and treacherous - something that wasn't to have happened until after sundown... so much for forecasts! Drivetrains caked in snow, helmets clogged - but spirits high - our group finally finished in just under 12 hours.
The "Gavia Pass" analogy-rich mini-epic snowstorm on this same route last March (what IS it with March around here??) was pretty nasty, and still memorable.... but compared to yesterday? Pah! That ride last year was easy. It had only been 15 miles! The bar has been set far, far higher now, with regards to "what'r the worst conditions you've ever ridden in?" The I've-Had-Worse file is full! Fifty miles, and with stops and such, five hours of riding in heavy winter precipitation. UN-REAL.
But, the streak is secure.... 21-in-a-row now.
If April isn't sunny and warm, however... I quit. [LOL]
Okay, not really. ...'cause I've had worse.