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Lake Shannon Loop: Maybe I’m Not As Tired As I Thought


Of course I am that tired… I only have to ride this evening to make it the full month of July without a day off and too many personal bests to count. That didn’t mean I couldn’t knuckle down for one more big ride before taking a couple of needed days off, either…

I expected to drop from last evening’s festivities. Actually, I seriously thought about skipping, first… I could have stayed home. I threw that stupid thought right in the frickin’ garbage can, though. If I was going to drop, I was going to do it right. I packed my stuff and headed for the high school.

I chose a short three mile warm-up with a nice climb at the beginning. I went up easy last week and still got a Strava 9th Place Cup. I wanted give it a real try to see what I could do. Man, it was a bear of a little hill. I put the power down and up I went. I was good for about 3/4’s of the hill but I ran out of gas and had to spin up the rest… still, I felt I was pretty quick compared to last week.  I wouldn’t know how I did till I uploaded it after the main ride…

Another couple of miles and I was back in the parking lot of the high school to start. We rolled out… and somehow I ended up out front. I was trying to hide. Kinda. I pulled for the next mile and three quarters. Because I’m an idiot.

We headed south with a tasty tailwind. We had four guys who’d pull and three or four more who seemed content to sit in. One, who I’d never met, was of the yo-yo variety. He’d catch up to the group… then leave a gap… and catch up… and coast until he had another gap… I can’t stand this… I timed his gap and went around him. You end up working twice as hard with that yo-yo crap. After that, I stayed to the front of the rotation which made it pretty ugly for me. There were more than a few times I thought about dropping but I stuck with it.

We hit a segment titled “full gas” heading down old US-23 (the service drive) with that 8-mph tailwind and the pace was incredible. We averaged, for the two mile stretch, just shy of 30-mph. Mike was up front (after having bailed me out when I left a bike-and-a-half gap in the Lake Shannon subdivision up a hill), so as soon as he started bleeding speed, I came around. At this point we only had five with the group so I gave him a few seconds to latch on and hit the gas. I took it up to 34-ish-mph before coming to a four-way stop sign and slowing down. We were immediately back on the gas and pushing it hard for the turn-around. And headwind.

The hill climbing north, after the turnaround is brutal with a tailwind. It was nasty with a headwind, but Craig made short work of it. It starts off at 7.5% but levels off a little bit after that initial punch in the face. We started up at 15-mph and took it up to 20 by the time we hit the top.

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I took the next mile at 22-23-mph, still with a slight grade and into the wind. I’d gather that was one of my best pulls this year. After flicking off, drifting to the back of our six-man pack, Doc Mike didn’t say a word – he simply stuck his fist out for me to bump it as I went back.

I gotta tell you, I felt pretty stoked about that as I gave him a quick bump.

I was in for the rest of the ride after that. It was an ugly slog north but we held our pace well. It seemed the wind was dying down just a little bit also. I think we all wanted to hit that 22-mph average. We were operating like a finely tuned machine and the miles were ticking by. We came to the last hill. It ramps all the way up to 18% halfway up and it’s brutal (in all fairness, it’s only 18% for a second, 12% for another few, and 7-8% for most). I’d already made my mind up to sit up when I hit it but I was at that 22-mph average and I wanted to give it everything I had to keep it. The descent down the back is fast, so there was a chance… I cracked about three-quarters of the way up. I still managed a 12-mph average up that sucker. It sucked.

I hammered the descent as best I could, but I was pretty cooked. The best I could do coming across the City Limits sign was 21.9-mph for the average. Another PR, and my God was it fun.

It was all hi-five’s and good stories back in the parking lot. Another fun evening, a good time had by all.

Friends, I’ve gotta tell you; it never gets old.

Incidentally, I picked up a solid 5th overall on that warm-up climb.


6 Comments

  1. Lisa M. Boyd says:

    You do a great job of building your story with much excitement, it is all great. As if I was there. That is a great writer! My favorite part of it all is the high fives, and stories afterwards. Then when you said Friends, I’ve gotta tell you; it never gets old. You can hear the passion in your words the whole way through! Even after all these long rides, and Strava Trophies you find time to sit down, and tell us all about it! Amazing!

    • bgddyjim says:

      Thank you, Lisa! One of the nicest compliments I’ve ever received. I appreciate it greatly.

      • Lisa M. Boyd says:

        You were the one that told me none of us are exempt from ever going back out! That was many years ago. I hear it now a lot, and as well say it all the time now myself. I may not have received it well because my ego got in the way. I totally get what was meant by it now. Especially after working it out in my heart, and with others. So I appreciate your brutal honesty even in here! To say something so important to someone you only read their writings of was wise in, and of itself. That took noble character. So I have much respect for you as a person! Plus admire you for your riding passion. God bless, have an awesome weekend with the family! Also you’re welcome!

  2. OmniRunner says:

    I ran a race a few years ago and layed the hammer down. I was way out classed by the guys I was running with, but we ran like a well oiled machine.
    We gave each other space to pass and we all ran our asses off. I’ll never forget that run.

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