I got up this a.m. at 5:15 and was out of the house by 5:40. Chilly, but the sun was already on its way up so I didn't need the blinky please-don't-hit-me lights. A nice tail wind out of the NE, I knew it would be tough on the way back.
Right as I turned around for the dreaded up-wind tack, I met 2 other riders. After discussing the wind, introductions followed, Jack (from around Lakeview) and Marty(from Hyde Park.) I didn't recognize them, but Jack must have recognized me because he asked if I was still riding Judson. Both guys were older than me and appeared to be seasoned vets.
How can you tell a vet? I look at the bike, what's on it and how they ride. Anyone can stay in the draft on a down wind run, but the trick is smoothly finding the draft up wind or in a cross wind.
Bikes: Marty- C-50/full Record. Jack- Lightspeed.
While the wind was firmly out of the NE, the path changed, so you had to move around to find the sweet spot. Conversation ebbed as we quickly fell into a good rotation, all 3 of us adjusting our line to stay in the draft. Nice, strong pulls and in no time we were at the end of the path. They turned to go back south and I continued to go home.
What originally presented as a tough solo journey back north turned into an enjoyable "team" effort.