We’re stopped at the end of the road our home is on, waiting for the group to show up, signifying the start of our ride. One of my buddies was already waiting at the intersection. We’re catching up on what’s been going on in our lives because it’s been a bit since we rode with everybody, especially Chuck. After a few minutes Mike, Mike and Diane (on their tandem) roll up. We latch on and our ride is underway. A few miles later we pick up Phill and we’re a set group. We cruised along at a decent pace, between 19 & 20 miles, knowing that once we picked up Dave and Greg there would be more than enough hard miles. Dave and Greg are Cat 3 racers and we are not. Greg had raced Saturday so they wanted to take it easy and asked to join us. Their “taking it easy” is right around our “best” effort, but like a mosquito drawn to a bug zapper because of the pretty light, we agreed to hang with them.
The plan was for a sixty-plus mile ride but my wife was going to cut out early to tend to a few things at home. Definitely not the best scenario but she made it work. We met up with Greg and Dave, guessing, around ten miles (about ten miles sooner than anticipated) and it was on. Dave and Greg took turns pulling in the oddest pace line formation I’d ever taken part in. Dave would take a turn at the front then fall to the back and Greg would come rushing up to the front to take the lead… After a few miles, Dave and Greg would swap positions again. What became evident quickly was that the person riding second bike, even though they were protected, at the pace we were riding, was going to have to switch out from time to time as well so they didn’t burn up early. So it went like this, roughly: Second bike would hang on for one of Greg and Dave’s turn up front or between 4 & 6 miles. After Greg went back, whoever was second bike would drop back as well.
We were heading into a rough headwind for the first half of the ride, between 20 & 22 mph so I was secretly hoping that Greg and Dave would be spent. I was wrong. They took us up to 28 and kept us there for several miles. I was second or third bike through most of that and I was feeling quite excellent, but some of the guys further back were starting to struggle – which was a good thing, because I was at that point where I’m still good but I know I’ve only got a few more miles in me before I’m a quivering pile of sweaty mush, just trying to hold on at the back. They pulled it back to 26 and I recovered nicely. We had a few miles heading west with a crosswind and then Dave and Greg went off on their own to put in some extra miles. I ended up with 52-1/2, right on the nose. Mrs. Bgddy got in a solid 36 miles at an 18 mph average (I only made it up to 20.5 myself, even with all of those miles above 25 mph).
It’s all about distance and intensity…
After I had a few minutes to calm down and make myself some lunch, my wife modeled some new clothes she’d bought a few days earlier. When she got to the last piece she asked, “…And guess what?”
She held up the tag that had the size on it… She hadn’t worn that size since she was pregnant with our second daughter. My wife, while she was hot before, is smokin’ now. She’s smack-dab in the middle of the exact same experience I had with cycling, though she’s hung on to sanity a little bit longer than I did. When I started riding, I went gangbusters right out of the gate. My average speeds and distances increased quickly so that by the time I was a year into riding I was having to make sure I was eating enough.. Then through my second year I had to eat even more. With speed and distance comes weight loss. The more effort put into it, the easier it is to peel off the weight and cycling isn’t like running, where you have to take a day or two off between runs. You can ride on a daily basis which means more and more calories burned, more weight lost and results come fast and furious. I don’t want to steal any of my wife’s thunder though, so I’m going to ask her to put a post together about her experience.
Suffice it to say, yesterday was a very happy day at our house.