I felt weird yesterday afternoon getting my bike and kit ready for the ride. All of a sudden, spring showed up… and didn’t even get a fair look over her shoulder as summer started shooing her out the back door. It was 30° warmer than the last week and 50° warmer than the week before that. 84° (28 C)! Unfortunately, someone forgot to turn off the fan.
I knew we were in for some ugly, a heavy wind always sucks.
The warm-up was comical. Fifteen miles per hour into the headwind wasn’t easy, then on the way back we were soft-pedaling at 25. This is never good news for the actual ride.
We started out as a fairly large B Group that got shattered within the first two miles into the headwind, and it devolved from there. We picked up for A guys along the way and once we hit the cross headwinds, everything got messy in a hurry.
I held on for fifteen miles, when I became overwhelmed with the urge to blow my lunch all over my top tube. I let the group go and took it easy for a few seconds. That wasn’t the end, though. Surprisingly I came back a lot faster than anticipated on the way up a couple of hills (again, dead into the headwind), so I hammered back to the group. I figured I’d be okay once we hit the tailwind – which ended up being a straight-up crosswind, with nowhere to hide. I told my buddy, Chuck I was puked out and slid off the back.
I was down to 14 mph to catch my breath and I did not feel well. It was the heat after riding in all of that cold. I was dehydrated after just fifteen miles.
I caught another guy who works for the post office as a walking deliveryman and we rode together, helping each other out in the crosswind, until we caught up to the group at the regroup spot at the 20 mile point (of 30). I thought about letting them go but I was starting to feel a little better so I latched on and rolled out with the main group. We had a tailwind (in one form or another) for the last ten miles and it was fast. We maintained 24-28 mph with stints almost to the mid 30’s at the sprint. I didn’t bother going for the sign. I was just happy to be in the draft.
We wound our way towards home at a spectacular clip and I held on till the last few miles when I started feeling queasy again. I slipped off the back and let one of the other guys who’d fallen off catch me. We rode the last three miles together, with a cross tailwind, between 22 and 26 mph – pushing the pace, of course, but enjoying the push home at the same time.
As we neared the finish line, I started ramping up the pace. 24… 26… 27… I had no idea why I was doing this. 28… and I launched for the sign just to get my sprint in. At 35 mph. Even with a tailwind, that was really humpin’.
I managed to fire down a Coke (which helped immensely), a salad, and a few slices of pizza at the monthly club meeting but I wasn’t feeling right until I got home and drank a quart of water and a glass of Gatorade. I wouldn’t say I’m right as rain this morning, but I do feel better, at least.
I’ll have to figure out, over the next couple of days, where I went wrong last night. I never bonk out that bad… and I didn’t like it.