First, allow me the dalliance of commending our B Group of cyclists. We have had our challenges, but I consider myself truly blessed and fortunate to ride with the group I do. What an amazing group of people.
With my two-hour commute I no longer can make the group warm-up. Instead of seven easy miles with a group of five or six, I’m relegated to a quick two miles to spin my legs up. And I’d taken Monday off because I was just plain tuckered out. My legs were not happy when I pulled into the parking lot to await the start.
Jonathan and I took the lead out and slowly got the group up to speed. I’d just swapped saddles back and forth with the Trek and was pleased to have gotten the Venge’s position perfect without the need for a fitting (good thing, too, it would have been a long 30 miles had I gotten it wrong). I’d gotten the impression I was good on the short warm-up, but you never really know until you’re under full power….
We were at a perfect 75° with a barely there breeze, and after the first mile the pace… well, it really wasn’t that impressive. We’d taken it up to 22 but the group slowed up a bit. There were a few fast miles, but there were quite a few slow as well. We spent the first two-thirds of the ride below our normal average, but we ticked up a bit from 20.3-mph to 20.8. We got through the hills well with a little bit of a tailwind and were sitting just below 21 with 8 miles and some change to go.
The next eight miles were blistering, and as much fun as I’ve had on a bike this year. I didn’t take either sprint, but I was a hell of a lead-out for each one. I took the pace to 30-mph on the first and just over 30 for the second after sitting on Dave and Sherry’s tandem wheel. The final few miles were some of the most exceptional cycling we’d ever done as a B Group – we averaged over 26-mph. We finished with a 21.8-mph average (some had 21.9).
And like that, we were done. Garmins were switched off or over to new cool-down rides, we sat up, and took it easy for the last mile back.
When we pulled into the parking lot I couldn’t help but feel lucky to be a part of the group we’ve got. At the same time, I was happy for all of the work I’d put in to not only be a part of that group, but to be a contributing member. My friends, there’s nothing safe about shooting down the road at 30-mph on bicycles with only inches between wheels. It’s not for everyone. For those who can enjoy it, the experience is amazing. I’m smiling just writing this post.
It’s about as good as it gets.