Tuesday’s weather for the club ride was pretty close to perfect. Light wind (less than 10 mph), sunshine, mid-70’s. It was also Mrs. Bgddy’s first attempt riding with the big dogs…
I ate an ERG energy bar and drank a bottle of good old fashioned tap H2O on the way out. I was amped and ready for a fast ride. Mrs. Bgddy gave me her blessing to hammer it out as I normally do, she said she’d get back one way or another.
As is common, the warmup was easy, a good time to catch up with the guys and slow enough that it didn’t take too much out of my wife. Seven miles for her, eight for us (we go around the block a few times to keep our warm up.
We were all lined up promptly at 6 pm and headed out. The first mile and a half was held to a reasonable pace in remembrance of one of the guy’s wife who’d passed away over the weekend. As soon as we made the turn north though, it was fast and furious. We blew through the first eight miles between 21 and 24 mph but we’d been heading into a crossing wind. Once we turned southwest, with a cross tailwind it got hectic in a hurry. We blew past 24 mph into the 26-28 mph range and I knew my wife was going to be in trouble. At my normal strategic fallback spot I was feeling great coming into the intersection. I was back, after last week’s off day. I was good to go and ready to tear up the next nine or ten miles… As we slowed, I turned to see how many had made the main group… There were quite a few gone and my wife wasn’t there – but all of the guys who I’d trust to bring her back home were still with the main pack. My wife and I had extensive conversations about how the ride would go, what to expect, and what to do if she couldn’t hang on. I should have been just fine to finish my ride and wait for my wife to pull into the parking lot.
Unfortunately, that’s not who I am.
All I could think about was her being lost out in the middle of nowhere and having to rely on the GPS on her phone to bring her home. I thought about how stranded she’d feel out there by herself…
I turned around and headed back the way we’d come. She was about half a mile back and with a new guy who didn’t know the route either. She’d have been screwed. I turned around and began setting a pace around 20-21 mph. Unfortunately for me, once I found her, I couldn’t get over the disappointment of having to cut out of a great ride on my fast night. I know I did it of my own volition, but I was stuck at the same time. The shitty thing about being the knight in shining armor is that you have to be the knight in shining armor.
I was quiet for quite a few miles, just leading the three of us down the road. I knew I was going to be apologizing for my behavior. No way around it. I could go on about it, but it’s simple enough to say I was crushed. I’m down to one fast ride a week and I’d just given that up too.
Eventually I calmed down and Mike and Matt even came back to roll in with us and we picked up another guy too so we ended up having a pretty decent time for the last ten or eleven miles.
I made my apologies, more than once, and we had another extensive conversation and some dinner. Now that we’ve been through the course once (and I sent her my Endomondo route so she can follow it in the future if she gets dropped), we have a good plan that lets me ride with the boys for 20 before I head back to pick her up… So I get all of my hammer time and more miles as a bonus.
Anyway, I spent a lot of time up front on Tuesday and still ended up with a 20.5 mph average so it was a great workout… And then I did another 16 miles at an average of 20 last night just to make sure. I actually finished with 48 minutes on the nose. Initially I wasn’t too stoked about that number until I figured that I’d eaten dinner less than an hour before, had four 180 degree turn arounds and five stop signs in the 16 miles… In other words, I actually hauled some decent butt.
Sometimes doing the right thing really sucks at the time I’m doing it. I’m always glad I did though… Even if I make a little bit of a mess of it.