Jonathan, Dave F. and I rolled out for a seven-mile warm-up that stretched into a little more than eight glorious, warm, sunshiny miles. It stretched into eight because we were way too fast on the seven.
The wind was so mild you couldn’t tell which direction it was coming from unless you stood perfectly still. Even then it was tricky. It was a perfect day. We get plenty of good days, a few great days, but a day this perfect for a club ride is few and far between. There are so many moving pieces, it’s almost like the stars and planets have to align. Well, it happened last night.
The B Group rolled out with a new rider, and even though I was excoriated for helping new people out in an unofficial capacity and was roundly barred by my friends from helping anyone else, I chose to flout the apparatchiks and help the new guy with the finer intricacies of group cycling anyway (I expect to be flogged repeatedly with a wet noodle once this post makes its way around – I’ll try to be brave). Anyway, enough of that bullshit.
The new guy was a mountain biker who turned out to be quite strong. After last night, I think “was” might be the proper word in that sentence. The social aspect and speed of road cycling is like a tractor beam of awesome to the uninitiated. Turnout otherwise, amazingly, was a little sparse – we can handle “a little sparse”, though. If the new guy wasn’t enough, my wife decided to show up as well. She was more nervous than a longtail cat in a roomful of grannies on rocking chairs. I wish she had as much confidence in her ability as I do.
The rollout was slow and built up to pace over a mile and some change before we hit our stride. With the mild breeze, it didn’t matter which way we went, we could have fit a bus in our draft. We rolled on, like a finely tuned machine and life was good.
Oh, and an interesting change to bring up! I made a decision last night to change something major for my Tuesday nights for this season. For the last two years, I’ve been all-in for the sprint at the two City Limits signs. Last night I made a decision to dedicate myself to be lead out instead. I’m going to hammer the front and get everyone up to speed so they can race for the sprint this year. I’ll be of service rather than hog the sprints. I did really well last night, too, for both sprints.
There were several points in the ride I felt overcome with a feeling of basic happiness, almost joy just for being me, it was, without question, palpable.
We ended up rolling across the final sign for the sprint with a 21.4-mph average – a decent speed considering the small group. We’d have done a lot better with four or six more cyclists. But, that’s splitting hairs on Wednesday morning. And Mrs. Bgddy made it all but the last mile with the group (which is pretty fantastic).
The ride was as good as they get with what we had.