Its 9:34 PM in the evening (thank you, lady redundant woman) and I’ve got scrambled cycling brain. All cycling enthusiasts will be able to relate to this state of mind where your noodle plain doesn’t work right because it’s been hard boiled in a cycling helmet.
I’ve eaten, had two full bottles of water and three Arnold Palmer’s, and I’m still fighting cotton mouth. It was one of those painfully hot TNR editions.
The A Group only had about five guys so they offered to ride with us. I suggested that, should they get bored, they could drop us in the hills.
Apparently, they got bored, and we let them go.
Their hard work at the front, into what little wind there was (<6-mph), left us in perfect shape to challenge our old 22.3-mph record for the 30-mile loop. It should not have been, though. Chucker and I wrote the evening off as we were recovering from DALMAC, a 436 mile week (or 445 if I go by Endomondo, the Tuesday night warm-up loop doesn’t go to Strava). Not only that, Monday’s ride, though mercifully short, was pretty fast (at 19.6-mph) so my legs hadn’t had a chance to bounce back. In short, even the 7-mile warm-up loop hurt at a measly 17-mph average.
Still, we had a great average rolling and we had a breeze at our back for the return trip. All I had to do was hang on. I was on the Venge, and I’m here to tell you, the new Ican wheels are legit (more on that later, maybe after 1,000 miles or so). I did my time up front but my turns were on the short side so I could stay with the pack. We dwindled as the miles went on, from maybe 14 down to just seven B Grouper’s.
Coming up on a busy intersection, we almost got the whole group across but the front two hesitated just a little too long so two in the back couldn’t make it safely across. We waited for them, at just 13-15-mph going up a little 1/3-mile incline, but one of the guys in the back said it didn’t look like they were trying to catch up. I suggested we get going, but Chuck told us to hold it at 21 and he’d bring them back. We did that and Chuck dropped all the way back to them and brought them in. Later, after the ride, he said it would’ve been different if they’d gotten dropped but they were just missed getting through an intersection. As tired as I was, Chuck must have been just as knackered, so what he did was mighty impressive as I saw it.
With the group full again, Dave and his wife, Val, took the speed from our 21 to 24+ in short order. The group cycled through in the single pace-line and kept the speed pegged leading into the sprint for the City Limits sign. I wasn’t planning on going as I’d already given the intermediate sprint a go (2nd) and my legs were not exactly feeling pleasant, so I just sat in and let the sprint unfold from safely behind the tandem.
We rolled across the finish with an impressive 22.4-mph average (I got 22.2, but we’re going with Chuck’s 22.4, because that’s what you do), our fastest recorded yet by one tenth of a mph.
Dinner (and all of those AP’s) was extra delicious last night… and it went down fast. Good times and noodle salad, folks. It’s as good as it gets.