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.