See also my post yesterday, from the club ride. That notwithstanding, Monday…
Chuck and I were out on a perfect day for a bike ride. Well, perfect except the 16-mph (call it 26 km/h) headwind straight outta Chuck’s driveway. I’d been out early for some bonus miles, so I knew the ride west was going to suck pretty bad, but the ride home was going to be fun. We’re never looking to push it on a Monday because we’ve got the big Tuesday night main event to save the legs for, but…
The weather for Tuesday night’s edition of the club ride is supposed to be perfect (it wasn’t quite perfect, but it was close). It’s going to be fast, so there was a lot to save for (it definitely was that).
The headwind portion of the ride was front-loaded – everything was packed into the first half of the ride, which is the way I like it. We were still in “take it easy” mode through the first subdivision with a tailwind. Then we popped out onto Miller Road, our first long stretch with a tailwind and a bike lane. Coming down a shallow hill, I had to feather the brakes a bit to let a stoplight change back to green… coasting… coasting… and green. I started to put the hammer down with just 100′ of down left. Nothing too serious at first, but I just love getting my pedal bike up to the speed limit (30-mph). I kept it at 27-mph to remain in the realm of “kinda takin’ it easy” and took the full two-mile tailwind, then another mile of crosswind, with a hint of tail at 20-21-mph before relinquishing the front to Chuck. He took the next mile and change.
We came up to the corner for the start of the single Strava segment on the route. Almost a full mile long, I hold the KOM at 1m:59s and I wanted to get Chuck second place. Our friend, Mike I. has had second place, 11 seconds behind me, for a while…. We rounded the corner hard, leaning into it at better than 21-mph and Chuck hit the gas, taking it to 26. I let him pull half a mile, then came around and picked up the pace. I was still accelerating as we started uphill to our turn, and the end of the segment. I had my head down, hands in the drops, pushing with almost everything I had as we passed 30-mph….
Traffic picked up at the intersection as we approached just over 30, so I signaled a slowdown and started to back it down. And we were on the home stretch, back to taking it easy again.
Chuck and I were three seconds off getting him second place, and I was kinda bummed. We held a 26.3-mph average for the mile but needed 28, methinks. I should have taken the front with fresher legs a little sooner.
There is nothing like cruising down the road, well north of 25-mph, tailwind or no. Just remembering the exhilaration has me smiling as I type this, ten hours after I pulled into the driveway… and I get that on a daily basis, whenever I want. All I need is an hour and my bike. Tuesday night,
I’ll get my fill I ate at the damn buffet as we hammer(ed) like that for 30 28 miles in less than an hour-twenty an hour-twelve and change, and I’ll be smiling again, tomorrow morning, as I write my post about the experience (that definitely happened exactly as I imagined it). [I know this is a little hacked up – I wrote this post on Monday for publishing on Tuesday, but I had so much fun on the TNCR, that post took precedence. I apologize for this.]
The point is, I’ve never regretted how hard I had to work those first three years to get this fast. I’d go out three days a week and push the pedals on my old road bike till I puked in my mouth… then I’d let up for a mile and try to do it again. Oh, I’d ride all seven days, but three were for excessively hard “workouts”. Now I reap the benefits of that hard work. I get to feel like a little kid again whenever I throw a leg over the top tube… and that’s as good as it gets as I wrap up my last year in my 40’s. I never hoped I’d be having this much fun at my age. Nothing I saw out of my parents as I grew up would have led me to believe it was even possible. Here I am, though, and it’s sweet.