Nice day, mid-70s and mostly sunny but windy, WNW 15-20. Took a while to figure out what to do. The original plan was to revisit Massaemett Mountain in Shelburne, see what the ascent was like when ice would certainly not be a concern. But I looked at the wind, and I just couldn't get motivated.
So plan B, which turned out to be excellent, to Leverett, almost all with the wind, then the climb up to Shutesbury also with a helping breeze, Then a change of direction, to Montague Center almost all into the wind but also almost all downhill. And then back along the river, a ripping crosswind but also actually helping a little. Perfect. And the second part of perfect was that I decided I was in no hurry. Except perhaps for the Shutesbury climb, just because it would be a good test. If, that is, I was in the mood for a test when I got over there.
Set off in an excellent mood, and nothing in the following two hours did anything to change that. :-)
Relaxed pace over to the start of the climb. The local cycling club has a series of hill climbs in the warmer months and this
of one of them. I don't know what sort of times I've done in the past, but a month ago I went up in just over 26 minutes (on a day also with a tailwind). The goal, as always in such situations, was something a little faster. And while I wasn't really eager to suffer, by the time I got over there it was clear that's what was going to happen.
A good pace all the way up, no weak moments, a pleasant surprise to see the watch stopped at 24:55. And so what if, had I been competing in a NCC climb here, it would have been good for 322nd out of 330 all-time. Nah, I'm not slow...
At the top, the hard work all done, got to enjoy another hour in the beautiful countryside we have around here, nice roads, minimal traffic. Such outings obviously won't last forever, but for now they're mighty fine.