It’s rare that I’m one of the stronger riders in a group but last night was my day in the sun. There’s an invite only club ride that starts at the shop on Thursday evenings. That’s usually a recovery maintenance night for me so I’m usually busy but yesterday evening I decided to see what the ride was all about – and the evening that most everybody else decided to take a night off. Only four of us went on the 42 mile ride.
The goal of the ride, and the reason that it’s “invite only”, is that the guys who put the ride together wanted to keep it sane… They keep the crowd down to those who are happy between 19 and 21 mph average. They don’t invite the horses or the speed challenged because the racers really don’t want to ride that slow and the speed challenged don’t have the lungs or legs.
There was a very interesting dynamic with the four of us though. We had one guy who is used to about 19 mph, Matt who is good at 19-20 and Carla and I who are good around 21… When we headed out, we lined up perfectly so that we could maximize Carla and my ability to pull just a little faster. In fact, it was really kind of cool – if we’d have switched the line-up I don’t think we could have run as fast as we did. It went Matt, Kevin, me and Carla (all from the Tuesday night group). What ended up happening is that Carla and I would crush it for between a mile and a half to two miles, then when Matt and Kevin pulled, Carla and I could recover a bit before our next big pull. The tough part, at least for me, was that once I was done pulling Carla kept the train going so I had a tough time latching on towards the end of the 42 mile ride. Once I got the timing right though, we were like a well oiled machine. Once Carla was done, Matt would slow it down just a touch and then Kevin just a touch more so by the time Kevin was done pulling I was well rested to give it another go.
With a pretty healthy breeze in our face for the first 20 miles we ended up at about a 19 mph pace (2:59-3:10 per mile) but once we turned and had the wind at our backs we really picked it up (2:30-2:50 per mile) so we ended up pulling in with a 20.1 mph pace. I was happily surprised that we ended up with that as a finishing average… It was, in my opinion, a perfect ride.
For today, we’ve got an easy 15 mile ride planned with the kids – 7.5 miles, a stop at an ice cream shop, then 7.5 miles back. It should be spectacular. It’ll be Mrs. Bgddy, me and our two daughters and Carla, her husband and their kids… Tomorrow will be a day off and then the Assenmacher 100 on Sunday for a 205 mile week. As far as I’m concerned, it just doesn’t get much better.