It has been approximately one and one-half months since we had to ride in any wind of consequence… and keep in mind, I ride every day. It’s been awesome.
That is, until last night, of course.
I was walking out the door with my Venge when a bank of clouds caught my eye. I turned the bike around and took it back in the house. I prepped the rain bike.
We had a quick storm blow through so the warm-up was slow and short. The combination of wind and sun dried everything off quickly enough though, and by the time we rolled in from the warm-up, we only had the wind left to contend with.
There’s no doubt, I was glad I brought the rain bike. Till we rolled out for real. Oh, how I love the A bike in the wind.
Anyway, with a lovely northwest wind, the best we get on our route is a crossing tailwind. We rolled out into it and it was pretty much a blur from there. From my perspective, I spent way too much time up front but that’s nothing new.
What is new this season is the 14 year-old boy who has been riding with us. We’re grooming him for the A Group in the next year or so.
He’s able to keep up with us on our 30-mile 21 mph club rides, the 20.3 mph A-100, pretty much anything the B Group does, he’s right there…. And he’s already started on developmental camps. It’s really something watching him develop over the last couple of years, and it’s special to watch how many members of our group try to help him out.
Leading into the intermediate sprint, we picked up one of the strongest A guys who’d gotten a late start and missed catching on with the A Group, so when a group of four formed a gap, I didn’t worry. Mike had already primed him to leading me out.
It wasn’t even fair. I had a 31 mph lead-out and we passed everyone easily. I jumped as soon as we drew even with the leader and nobody could match.
From that point, once the rest of the group caught up, it got hectic pretty fast. With a cross tailwind and a horse pulling us home, we were way beyond my comfort zone. We were holding our pace between 25 & 27 mph, hammering it home.
I, like most of the group, didn’t make the final sprint. There were four of us left in the last mile and I was cooked. I took a short turn up front and when I slid off, the guy behind me surged. I think I could have made it but I simply ran out of “want to”. I sat up and watched them go.
I can sure feel it this morning as I type this. I’m whooped. Man, was it fun though…. and this weekend is holding a lot of promise, both weather and mileage-wise.