My buddy Chuck and I played a little afternoon hooky yesterday. With my blowup after Tuesday’s club ride, I needed to blow off some steam anyway. Chuck suggested we do a local route that he rides every Thursday. I have a meeting to attend on Thursday night so I never get to ride the route.
To say it’s challenging is a bit of an understatement. There are several real hills on the route. A 10%’er and a few others.
I picked Chuck up at 3 and we rolled to the high school where we start the route from. A little prep, don the brain bucket, and we were rolling.
It was supposed to be an easy recovery ride.
The first mile was at the right pace. It was also mostly uphill. It was @$$holes and elbows after that.
Sometimes Chucker gets on a tear and there’s no reigning him in. I just settled in and rode him like a rented mule. I figured I’d suck his wheel till he was good and tired and I’d take the rest at a more… um… responsible pace.
After a bit, call it five or six miles, I didn’t hold his draft anymore, I didn’t feel all that cool stuck on his wheel and the pace was reasonable if way faster than we’d talked about before the ride. I was more off to the side so I wasn’t sucking wheel but I wasn’t going to come around to contribute to the madness, either.
Before I knew it we were through the lake loop and heading back to town for the big climb. The road surface when from perfect to sketchy so we split apart to concentrate on our line and not hitting any major potholes.
Then the climb. We only had a few miles left so we took the climb fairly easy. We got down into the little gears to spin up. After the climb came the 40-mph descent into town. A few jogs, a wait to get onto the main drag back to the high school and a couple of miles trying to keep our speed up for our average and we rolled into the parking lot. Chuck’s got a Garmin, so he was able to shut the time down as soon as he got into the parking lot. I took several seconds longer to dig my phone out of my pocket, key in the password while coasting and stop Strava so I dropped a tenth from our average…
So much for a recovery ride. Normally, when we turn in a 21 or 22-mph average, it’s on a relatively flat route. The Lake Shannon loop is a legit route with some decent up to it (40′ per mile is fairly hilly in these parts). Putting in a 20-mph average after the previous night’s 22-1/2, I didn’t think I had that in me. Chuck texted me later in the evening to let me know he had to go all the way back to April to find a faster night on that loop and they had a whole train of guys working to get a 20.2 out of the route.
I dropped Chuck off at his house and headed home. I started unloading my car and got stuck on what a perfect evening it was… the wind had died down and it was sunny and peaceful… It was only a quarter past Five and Mrs. Bgddy and the kids were out and about for school events. It seemed like such a waste of a perfect day to just shower up and watch TV.
I put on my dome protector and shoes and rolled down the driveway. I was supposed to get a recovery ride in anyway. I did Chuck and my normal weekday loop, minus one subdivision. I wasn’t going for any KOM’s but I didn’t watch the grass grow, either. I just plugged away. I pulled into the driveway with just shy of an 18-mph average and another 16 miles… and a big smile on my face.
There’s nothing like a bike ride to put life back into perspective. Or “another bike ride”. 42 miles on a Wednesday and I had to come up with something for dinner… I could afford extra cheese on the pizza last night. I sat down to some Star Wars and devoured it. Yesterday made all of the hard days worth it. I slept like a baby last night.