I knew the bike path would likely be very wet. I drove by it yesterday, and although it had been plowed, it was still snow covered, like a road in a Currier and Ives print featuring sleighs. Even so, I was totally unprepared for how slushed up it still was today. Huge puddles, some of them still with sheets of ice floating on top. It was like pedaling an ice breaker. And then there were the stretches that were still solid ice with water floating on top of that. After a somewhat terrifying hundred yards on one stretch, I decided to walk the bike on the others I encountered. Still, once I started up Tefft Hill it got much easier. It was still wet, but the grade and generally better drainage (the first mile and a half of the path run through the Great Swamp) made it more pleasant.
I was surprised at how strong I felt going up the hill, at least at first. I assumed part of it was because I'd had to take it so easy over the icy parts. It was only when I turned around that I remembered about the wind. One gust had nearly shoved me into a snowbank when I first got on the bike, but I hadn't noticed it since. Turns out it was right behind me. I'd felt strong because it had pushed me up the hill. Now it was in my face. But it turned out not to be a bad thing. It helped slow me down going back down the hill, a good thing with all the ice and water about.
The bike and the backs of my pants and jacket were soaked from the path, and filthy from the sand in the parking lot. I only did seven miles, but it was nice to be out. It had been almost two months.