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Cycling for the Fun of It…  Just a Bit Faster than Average.


Last night’s club ride was a blast.  We rolled out after an easy nine mile warm-up.  Just after Six and with a minimal breeze in the single digits and under abundant sunshine.  The temp was perfect in the low 80’s.

We started out slow, into the breeze.  Slow enough that I was a little bummed.  The last two weeks were a little… well, not fast, at about 20-1/2 mph average.  I’ve been wanting a 21+ mph night.

Every time I got to the front, I did my best to ramp up the pace and most responded well…. within a few miles we were up to the requisite 22-24 mph.  The turns got shorter into the wind, but the group’s intensity was awesome – and my wife was hanging with us too!  I finally got her saddle right, after a full year of trying to dial it in (mostly by the LBS owner, God Bless his patience) and finding an acceptable set of shorts/bibs to go along with….  This was a satisfying moment in my cycling career – my wife is the princess and the pea when it comes to her saddle.

Anyway, we rolled on as a group, and with a tailwind all the way home, we cranked the intensity up.  We picked up a couple of the A guys along the way, and I got to learn exactly how far down the scale I am when it comes to a final sprint…  They went better than 150 meters before I normally do and had a gap I couldn’t have made up before I knew what was going on.

That said, we rolled over the line at 1:22:34 for the 29 miles and change…  21 mph on the nose.

I love going fast.  Not so fast it becomes ridiculous, but faster than average nonetheless.  It fascinates me, watching 12-20 cyclists cruising down the road at 30 to 40 feet per second, talking about the day’s events like we’re whittling wood sitting around a campfire.  The last mile always gets a little hectic, with people jockeying for position, but being part of the 28-ish before that strikes me as majestic.  Or something.

My wife likes to poke fun at the fact that I smile when I ride and last night was no exception.  I suppose I have to look pretty funny with a permanent grin stretched across my face but taking a ribbing for that now and again suits me fine.  There comes great joy with simple pleasures, and playing like a kid, riding my bike is one of mine.  It sure beats where I came from.

Cycling is an important, enjoyable part of my recovery.  All work and no play makes Jim a dull boy.

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6 Comments

  1. I really enjoyed reading this one. And I have to laugh at the Princess and the Pea reference. Perfect!

    • bgddyjim says:

      Thanks, Amigo. My wife came up with that apt description on the road last night. I was so frustrated!

      • She is a creative one! And the saddle position thing can be a real booger, as you well know. I am about to invest in a drop post for my mountain bike. I have a tendency to ride with my saddle too low, which slows me down but gives me that extra control.

      • bgddyjim says:

        I’ve heard good things about the drop posts. I’ve got a couple of friends who swear by them. The interesting thing about my wife, she’s had knee problems related to the saddle height and it’s about an inch lower than it should be. When she said it was the outside again, I almost raised it just to see what happened because it just doesn’t make sense. I dropped it about two millimeters and her smile was all I needed to see. I always figured it was a more exact science! Not perfect, but closer than an inch, ya know?

      • Wait… you’re still talking about saddle height, correct? lol

      • bgddyjim says:

        Oops. Yep, I was.

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