Saturday, January 23, 2010

Getting Some

After days and days of rain, the skies kinda, sorta, cleared up today, and we even had a few rambunctious rays of sunshine, so I headed out the door to get a ride in.

I mounted the Garmin and turned it on, or so I thought. I suited up, and donned my helmet. Well, after checking myself in the hall mirror, and **gasp**, almost forgetting it AGAIN, I donned my helmet. I locked the door behind me, went down the stairs, clomp, clomp, clomp, checked the Garmin, and frowned. It wasn't on. Didn't I do that 10 minutes ago? I turned it on again, and then again. It would come up for a second and then go blank. I'm burning daylight. To hell with it. I need a ride!!!

S-L-U-G-I-S-H. Oh my, how thick can blood get anyway? The first 8 miles I just didn't have any snap in my legs at all. When I turned around at the Fish Hatchery and headed back for Sunrise I realized I wasn't quite as sluggish as the headwind had led me to believe, and I was quickly shifting through gears to bring my cadence under control.

I was passing one bike after another, sometimes 3-4 in groups, but no trailers. Then, about a mile past the Sunrise 'Y', I caught up with a couple of riders who were riding close to my pace, so I decided to sit on their wheel and catch my breath. We started working as a 3-man team, passing a lot of idiots riding two-abreast in spite of repeated shouts of 'LEFT', and one really GREAT group ride where everyone of a dozen bikes were completely off the pavement on the shoulder.

The locomotive in our little ad-hoc team dropped back and I took up the center spot just before Hagan Pk, focusing on being nice and smooth going through tight little turns in an area where the trail is pretty exposed to the wind. I could tell the guy ahead of me was starting to tire (Eric) so stayed on his wheel a little loosely, and a few minutes later, asking if he wanted me to lead.

'Yeah' he replied as he dropped back. I put some power down for 20-30 yards to help him drop back (a fair amount of oncoming traffic today) and then settled back into a comfortable pace for a few minutes to let everything settle down and let the guy catch his breath at the back of our 3-man 'pack'. After a few minutes I picked up the pace, listening for heavy breathing, setting a nice 22-25mph pace, hoping they could keep up.

We started though some long, sweeping turns and then into a small set of short, steep rollers which I hammered over hunkered down in the aerobars, pushing hard with gluts and quads trying not to rock the bike. I dropped them both briefly, so coasted down the backside of a couple of shallow rollers before torquing up a short hill. The last mile before the WBP bridge we were in pretty good formation and pushing hard. When I glanced back they were about 10-30 ft behind until this last stretch, so I think they got a really hard workout. They'll be sore tomorrow, but were looking to get some, so were all smiles.

We went over the WBP Bridge together and they introduced themselves, thanked me for the pull, and remarked on what a beautiful day it was for a ride. A lot of riders out there today in bad need of their endorphine fix, me included.

I had a few scares with wet leaves and sand, and a inch or so bough down in the bike lane on Fair Oaks, but my biggest surprise was almost losing it going through a turn when my trailer drifted from the center to the shoulder. It felt like I got pushed into the shoulder, and I was lucky I was able to control it. That can happen in a quartering wind, but it still caught me off guard. No fault on his part or mine, just a surprise. Live and learn...err... re-learn.


Lily on the Road said...

So glad to read that you are over that nasty weather. Good job getting out for a roll...

Anonymous said...

Riding with strangers and leading just like that....awesome.