This morning I was determined to crawl out of bed on time and hit the tarmac for a metric half century. Had. To. Do. It! Seeing as I used a recovery day yesterday, it was imperative to hit the saddle and get some exercise. I have been off Red Chameleon too many days this week and was not about to add another. In addition, I was meeting a friend for a morning coffee at Starbucks, and shoot the breeze for a bit under the warm morning sun.
I do not recall hearing the 4am alarm, but the backup 4:15am one woke me from my slumber. Once I quickly oriented myself, I jumped out of bed and completed the standard pre-cycling ritual. The only difference was instead of having 45-60 minutes of prep time, I only had about 30 minutes. This turned out to be more than enough time. I was out the door and into the blazing morning sun at the usual time, heading down the outer stairs towards Red Chameleon.
As I rapidly descended the stairs, I immediately noticed the beautiful azure overhead. There was nary a cloud in sight, just blue for as far as the eye can see. It reminded me of my days in the Navy when we were underway, heading to the main deck to hang out at the forward-most part of the ship. It was a 360 degree view of blueness - luscious ocean everywhere, so inviting you would love to dive in were it not for the treachery waiting below. Thankfully there was nothing to worry about on this Sunday morning. It looked to be the consummate day for a ride.
I quickly mounted Red Chameleon and we were off on today's metric half century. There would be nothing stopping me from completing this 50k with the sole exception of some accident. Thankfully - knock on wood - nothing of the sort transpired, with the ride being completely free of anything dangerous. There was a nice headwind to help cool me down. Even if it was slowing my pace, the breeze was well received.
Despite taking a recovery day on Saturday and getting a lot of relaxation and sleep, my legs felt like utter jello this morning. No matter how hard I pedaled I could not get the pacing I desired. I think this is partially due to the lack of saddle time over the last 10 days, but also because my chain is in need of some oiling. All the water I have experienced recently likely has taken a negative toll on the chain, so it needs a bit of lubricant to get it working optimally. This is something I will need to take care of post-ride.
Although the upstream ride was slow, I still really enjoyed it. The segments I usually enjoy less than others actually did not really bother me this morning. My spirits were really high, and nothing was going to prevent me from enjoying today's ride.
As usual, the return trip was considerably faster than the first half. However, the stats got really skewed this morning because of how I rode through a park near the end of the ride, as I was meeting up with a friend. This caused today's average speed and cadence to trend lower than usual, which is fine, but nonetheless interesting.
I met a long-time friend at a Starbucks once again, not too dissimilar from Friday's ride, and we grabbed some ice-cold cold brew and sat outside on a bench chatting for a few hours. I was famished and sugar deprived at this point, so I also partook in a Cookies and Cream donut. It had just the right amount of sweetness, and paired brilliantly with the coffee.
Overall, I think we shot the breeze for about two and a half hours before parting ways. At this juncture the sun was beaming rays of death down upon a sparsely shaded park. There are a limited number of areas offering safety from the sweltering beams, leaving us with two choices: suck it up and deal with it, or call it a day. We opted for the latter, and each headed home.
I feel great after having rode the full 50k this morning. Although I will not reach the 180k goal this week, I am OK with being denied that pleasure. Rather, I did take a nice three-day camping trip and was able to enjoy the ultimate relaxation nature has to offer.
Now that I have some free time at home, my plan is to make my own cold brew in preparation for the work week ahead. I also need to lube Red Chameleon's chain, and give her a nice wash down as well. Seeing as Tokyo is in a COVID-19 induced State of Emergency, it is not like there are many options leisurely staring us in the face. Instead of heading out anywhere, the intent is to stay home and chill indoor where it is nice and cool.
Just like it should be in mid-July in Japan, when the weather is slowly ramping up towards August, the worst month of all across the entire country.