I have a sprinter’s bike and it is awesome…
We paid for our tailwind at the end of our ride with a gnarly headwind the first, brutal half. A group of six or seven of us left a full half-hour early to avoid the big group in a howling wind. Safety was our main concern.
So off we went. Headwind for two miles, cross-tailwind for four, headwind, cross-tail… and with a sharp lefthand turn it was come to Jesus time. Dead into a 20+ mph headwind.
Ugly was all you could call it. We had a tough time keeping the group together.
Fifteen miles in, though, and the tides turned. We had a lot of cross-tailwind, but I’ll take that over the frontal assault we’d just fought through.
It was with that cross-tailwind that we hit the intermediate sprint section. The pace was ramped up from a spritely 24-mph and I launched my sprint with several hundred meters to go and took it up to 31-1/2… I could see the shadows fading on the pavement behind me, so I knew I was pulling away… no sense in giving it too much before the final, so I let up just a touch as I came up to the City Limits sign.
A quick recovery through town and it was back on the gas. It was a cross-tailwind all the way home.
Coming down the three-mile home stretch I was fifth back. A small uphill and Jonathan took over with 2-1/2 to go… I expected him to take a mile, but he was still up there with a half to go. He started picking up the pace, steadily, up to 28. I waited for the farm house and went for it.
Nine times in ten, I’ll sprint out of the saddle but I was a little too far out to sustain it. I hit 33, sat down, up-shifted, and put the hammer down passing 35-mph. I cruised across the line completely out of breath and gassed.
I know the pros are pushing 40+ on their sprints, and I’d never claim to be all that sprint-y even in against our A Group. I can, however, throw down some watts, and I do love the speed of it…. Hitting 35 on a flat sprint, just to do it, puts a smile on my face every time. It’s all about pushing that sprinter’s bike as hard as I can (first across the line or not).
Just one more reason, on a long list, why I love cycling.
It is good to be me.