So it was 1pm thereabouts by the time I got rolling. It was also classically warm (90deg +/-), humid and just a little bit windy ( gusts to 27mph and steady at 20 +/-), I had planned on going north to Weston again. but taking a different road north out of there for a couple new views and a couple more miles. Goal was 40 mi. I had plenty of water and Gatorade on board, but skipped the food except for a bag of Clif Shot Roks. This perhaps was not the best decision on my part since I also skipped eating lunch.
Problems began on the ride, almost immediately. First the heart rate monitor was buggered up. I certainly don't run a 45bpm heart rate, even at rest! Eventually a few miles into the ride, I figured out why it was cutting out and reading low. I had it on upside down. Go figure, Garmin HRMs are directional! You have to be able to read the writing on the back when you put it on or it won't read your heart rate properly.
Next, the left water bottle kept trying to fall out of the cage, and into my rear wheel. It sort of got the mouthpiece ground off on one side because of that...ouch! Those water bottles aren't cheap! It still works though so I guess I won't buy a replacement yet.
Then the rear brake started scrubbing while I was riding. I stopped to check and adjust it as needed, but then it wouldn't scrub the rotor without a load on the bike. Fortunately after a bit that annoyance vanished, or maybe the howling winds got loud enough to drown it out!
I settled into the ride eventually after a few miles and made decent time up to Weston. I did stop in the little cafe there, where I bought some ice and water for my bottles (note: the proprietor did not want to charge me for this, but I paid him anyway). After using their facilities, and soaking my arm coolers in the sink, I was on my way again.
Once I got turned south the winds started to take their toll. My speed dropped and I had more traffic to deal with. I stopped at a local cemetery, and texted Dave that I was hot & tired, but was going on at least to the big park a few more miles southeast from there. I had some more of the Clif Shot Roks and more fluids and rested a little bit in the meagre shade.
I continued to dogleg around on the county roads, gradually heading south. As I went along I started seeing something strange scattered along the road edge I was on...peppermints. Yeah, those round red & white peppermint hard candies. It was like one peppermint per mile until I got to the big park. Hence the title to this blogpost. I stopped there in the shade at the park, and texted Dave that I should be able to get to the Valero station in about 20min. He asked if I wanted a pick-up, and I said "yeah", as I was pretty tired and was not looking forward to the last hill before home, aka Nemesis Hill. It's deceptively steep and longer than it looks. Plus there's a stoplight just before the peak of the hill, which if you catch a red light, will really mess up your pacing.
Dave got to the Valero before I did, and then decided to come looking for me up the road. He caught up to me just before my last long downhill to the Valero. I pulled into a subdivision, and he loaded up the bike. Boy, that A/C sure felt nice!
Totals for the day: 35.39mi in 2:55hrs for a 12.1 avg.
Here's a shot of the winds on a sheltered flag next to the big park.