Yesterday I did a great road ride, that was also very cold (which was mostly my fault). I headed out in the morning for a 40 miler. It was about 45 degrees when I left. I was dressed reasonably, except when doing long descents at 35-40mph! I had mapped out a route using Google Maps, but one roughly 4 mile chunk of my ride turned out to be a non-existant road! I should have used the Hybrid view in Google Maps to determine if the roads existed as looking at that I'm sure I would have second guessed it (the road does not show connecting, etc.). It didn't matter though, as the road I was on that I thought it forked off, continued to the same eventual point anyway. But, this particular road, is a 4 mile descent, and a good one at that, with sustained speeds of 35mph+ (I think I hit in the low 40mph's during the descent and I wasn't pedaling much, because I was freezing).
I say the cold was my fault, because I didn't take a jacket. Dumb, but I thought I was set sufficiently, based on the ride I'd done the day before that was just about as cold, and where I was dressed a bit too warm. Yet this ride, I was wearing fleece-lined tights (day before had just knee warmers), Pearli Amfib shoe covers (day before none), and then a wind proof and fleece-lined vest (no vest day before). But, that long descent just froze me to the core. The temps were a bit lower than the day before, but still. It took me a good 20+ minutes to get relatively warm again, and for the rest of the ride I relished the climbs. But, it was an overall great riding day, and the ache the cold and decent mileage (for me) put in to my legs felt great. It has motivated me to do a 50 miler tomorrow (Saturday). I've made sure to check the roads with the Hybrid view in Google maps this time. Still some potential for bad, but these roads look more "major" (as far as country roads go :) Oh, and they aren't called "Foot Path", which I think was truly a foot path, and not a road.
With the slight route deviation, the ride wound up being 38.3 miles, 3550' of climbing, and took about 2 hours 38 minutes. The most interesting bit from my cyclometer had to be the max percent grade that occurred during the ride: 18%! Wowzers. I know there are some steep sections along the way, but I think that is bogus. I've climbed up Blanton the steep way, and that seems to max out at about 16-17%, and I don't recall anything on yesterday's ride being as steep, but who knows. It's not exact either of course.