I won’t lie, I love speed, I just like it most when I’m going downhill. This evening’s ride had it all – uh, fast everywhere. Speed on the flats. Speed down the hills. Hell, speed up the hills. We did a stout half mile climb at 20 mph, fast enough that my lung crept up to my ear and said, “dude, you kidding us?”
The weather was perfect. Sunny, 80 degrees with just a gentle breeze. Perfect.
Unfortunately, we weren’t waiting around for the paint to dry. A 6:01 we hit it right out of the gate. Sitting still to 21 mph that fast. No warm up mile, no waiting for the group to coalesce. By the time we rolled over the four mile mark we were up to a comfortable 24 mph. Two and a half miles later we kicked it up another notch and a half to 26. Not only is that when it really starts getting tough for me, I took an extra-long pull so that we could get to a turn rather than try to fall back on the busiest road of our route (it would be idiotic to even attempt that). After that, I fell back a little winded and got behind a fella who was having a tougher time that I – so he promptly started to fall off the back on the way up a small hill. Unfortunately for me, he’d been hiding back there for miles hiding while I’d just come off of better than a mile-long pull up front at 24 mph. I actually hung on for the first set of hills and felt pretty good coming over the top, but the second set? Even steeper at 23 mph – the group sped up on the lead up (going uphill) to the another gnarly hill. It was just too much time in zone five for me – and that longer pull up front was my ultimate undoing.
After that, however, I pulled off the back for the shortcut back and maintained almost a 20 mph average back and for only the second time, I wasn’t caught by the lead group.
It’s become quite normal for me to drop somewhere between the 20 and 24 mile mark, the hardest part of the ride, and where the big dogs normally attack, and I’m actually quite okay with that for now. For the longest time it used to bug the hell out of me. I spent most of the winter trying to prepare for the two-mile stretch that blows me up every Tuesday. I spent time on vacation trying to get better for that two miles, and it’s still not enough. Part of me, on one level, wants to keep pushing to get to a point where I can stay with them comfortably. On the other hand, there’s a bigger part that simply say it’s not that big of a deal. I’m going to sit on the fence on that for a while but one thing that absolutely will not change is that fact that I’ll keep trying. I just have too much fun and that’s all good.
Afterwards I hang out and just had a nice dinner before heading home and falling asleep about sixteen seconds after watching the Tigers beat the Nationals for their fourth win in a row.
It really was a fun night and I had a great time.
29.48 miles in 1 hour 25 minutes. 35 miles overall with the warm up. It was a beautiful night for a ride.