With the days getting shorter and the end of Daylight Saving Time coming, we’ve been combining the A and B groups for the first 15 miles or so of the Club Ride.
It’s a blessing and a curse.
It’s a blessing for some who can hang with a 24-26 mph sustained pace. For those who struggle at that pace, not so much.
We rolled out promptly at 5:30, a large group, easily 25 of us. I was surprised at how good my legs felt, too. I felt that “End of Season” let down a couple of weeks ago, where you’re tired and you know it but you just can’t manage to take time off yet, and your legs are like, “Dude, seriously?” Instead of cooked last night, I was really into the ride, and it was awesome.
And my brother from another cycling mother, Mike, was doing well also… he was still with us at 16 miles, as we got into the hills. After the second set of hills, he wasn’t. Diane and Mike on their tandem had fallen off, and Phill with them, and Mike and Big Joe were a half-dozen bikes off of them. I told Matt and a couple of others that I was going back for my buddy.
I drifted back, passed the tandem and Phill, and let Mike and Joe reel me in. As they closed the distance, I picked up my pace till they seamlessly joined me.
First, I got them back on with the tandem and Phill, then I took the lead of the bigger group. And I dropped everybody, trying to reel in the lead group. Twice. I hate it when I do that – I feel like an @$$hole. I dropped to the back of that gang so I could learn the proper pace so I could actually help… Two miles later, I had it and we cruised.
The B Group had dropped from the A guys and we were slowly reeling them back in… and after a swift downhill followed by a long climb, I could see some of the B Group, most of it, were waiting for us.
Together, we cruised in strong – 1:20:12 for the 29 miles and change – 21.7 mph for an average. I took third in the intermediate sprint (two guys were off the front and I didn’t see them till we were approaching the line) and second in the finalè…. and some members from the church down the road were waiting in the parking lot for us with cold water and Gatorade. Seriously.
Then I headed over to the local burger joint, which was holding a fund raiser for the High School girl’s (my daughter’s) swim team. I was joined by Matt (the owner of the LBS), Chuck… and Chuck’s wife and son. Chuck brought his family out to eat to support my daughter’s swim team.
We had a lot of laughs whilst eating some fantastic burgers.
I drove the whole way home with a smile on my face. I got to be a friend, and two of my best were friends to me last night. It just doesn’t get any better than that.
I joined the bike club to ride my bike with some decent people and ended up getting some of the best friends a guy could ask for. That’s the best bargain for twenty-five bucks I ever found.