The gist of this post, what I’m about to write, is unfair. Let me be very, very clear… I don’t care that it’s not fair. Genes, want to, or whatever it may be, I love the heat. While everyone else is melting as temps top 90 degrees (32 C), I’m in all my glory.
And so we began at 7:30. I met Mike and Chuck at the corner and we rolled to the meeting spot. We picked up Diane and Jeff on Diane’s tandem along the way and quickly went from taking it easy to rolling out. We were there just a few miles later, waiting for everyone to get their bikes out and shoes on. At just a few minutes past 8 we were ready to roll out. We had a great group, eleven strong.
The pace started out easy but it didn’t stay that way long. The breeze was light but we could feel it heading directly into the teeth of it. The best way to put it would be to say it dampened the pace slightly, but the flag shows it all.
As we rolled on, the pace picked up. Pulls up front were short, usually a mile each, and it got lively – in a fun way, not in a “please make the bad man stop” way. We were picking them up and putting them down, as they say.
As the ride wore on, I realized something fantastic; I was feeling awesome. That shouldn’t have been on the second big day – I should have been dragging, at least a little bit (after contemplating this, I’ve got an interesting idea why this is… more later).
The temperature climbed a lot more than we did on the flat-ish route and all of a sudden, after two flicked off in front of us, Mike and I were up front together. I know where to look, of course, but I can actually see the spike in pace exactly when the two of us took over the front. We went from 20-mph to 23 as if someone flipped a switch. We were off the front within a minute. I looked at Mike and smiled, “Some idiot left us up front unsupervised!” Mike responded, “No governor”. Exactly right – zero governor. We dialed it back to let everyone catch up and kept the pace reasonable, thereafter.
The remainder of the ride was sheer bliss on two wheels. Mike and I would end up at the front a couple of more times together and while we were careful not to bury anybody, we bumped up against the pace that was just slightly less than tongues dangling in spokes.
We altered the route for the better a couple of times, taking out a few stretches of gnarly pavement for pristine roads, new in one instance as we took it to the barn. After dropping everyone at the elementary school in town, Mike, Diane, Jeff, Chuck and I rolled for home. I pulled into the driveway with 75-1/2 miles and a 19.1-mph average (my wife’s average for the actual 100 k was 19.6).
DALMAC training is excellent – and today is day three. In fact, I have to start getting ready so we can pack the car and head out to my friend’s house…