Wednesday, March 24, 2010

30-30 on a Tuesday

 Lake Natomas

Almost on a whim I decided to join a half-dozen friends for a ride last night. The starting point for the ride was 10 miles down the bike trail, so was able to ride from my front door - my favorite kind of ride. I got started late, so just rode towards them, and we met up about 2/3rds of the way there. It was a slow, after-work ride, and I needed some exercise and a break from a software project I've been working on.

Fred, or Phred as we call him, was our leader, but was bringing up the rear so we were chatting when he had a mechanical. He's a good mechanic, and a really good ride leader, especially on his famous mtb rides, so I was amazed that the problem turned out to be him shifting into a 'silly gear'. Big chainring in back and front. He told me later he got a killer deal on some DuraAce chain, but it was shorter than normal. Since he 'knew' he'd never pull a bone-head cross-chain move, he jumped at the deal. We had a good laugh about that, and now I have something good to razz him about for the next year or two! Heh, heh /=)

Shortly after that I spotted what later turned out to be a 'Super Dad' with a tandem attachment for his toddler daughter AND behind that, a trailer for an infant. I was reminded of the Mad Max movie and the very long 'road trains' they allow in Australia. Very cool, but it was a little hard to pass, so traffic got a little jammed up on a very busy night.

When the opp to pass presented itself I was a split second too slow and ended up having to defer to a guy on a Cervelo P2 TT bike, on his way to a new, free, standing Tuesday night TT being put on by the new Folsom Bike Shop located at the intersection of Folsom Crossing Rd (everybody calls it the Johnny Cash Bridge except the pompous city fathers, so I guess this should be called Johnny Cash Rd) and Auburn-Folsom Rd. (not a lot of head scratching went into that name either)

They also have a little coffee shop there, and that will be a GOD-SENT for me when coming back from Rescue, and training rides in the Eldorado Hills, as there is no water for another couple of miles and that drinking fountain has very warm water no matter how long you run it by mid-summer. It is a real find, and might be a sponsor for one of the mtb clubs I belong to. Before the bridge was finished I, like most riders, returned through Rodeo Pk in Folsom where there are big bathrooms you can take your bike into, and two drinking fountains for water. That hydration stop was sorely missed in spite of the bridge route by-passing all of the traffic and stops in Folsom. Somebody did their marketing research well!

So the Cervelo squirts out ahead of me and I have to bridge up to him about 150 yards, which I take as a challenge, alternately grinning and grimacing. I am drafting him pretty loosely, 8-12 ft back and off to one side or the other to watch for traffic ahead, and he can easily see my shadow, so he tries to drop me. We ended up doing 30mph on a nice flat section before he pulled the plug on dropping me. After a mile or so I'm at Sunrise, the turn-around point for our group. He invited me to join him on the TT. I took a polite rain-check, as I had work waiting at home and couldn't afford to return blotto, but it was very nice to get some respect, and an invite. Maybe next week.

Sharel wanted to extend her ride, as she had joined us 5 miles into our ride, so I joined her, and we took off for the Aquatic Center where CSUS and many other local organizations anchor their rowing teams. We have ridden together many times, but our rides have grown so large that conversations are difficult, so it was great to have a nice long conversation about bike fit, saddles, riding technique and mutual friends. If you've been reading my comments you know, I have changed my approach to riding to do more of these small, near rides in favor of driving somewhere and joining a horde of 50 riders.

I left Sharel at WBP Park and headed for home, picking up the pace as the sun had almost set. I felt really strong, and hammered pretty hard, cranking out 750 watts up onto Boyer and then pushing hard coming home on California - despite the very rough surface. I was more tired than expected, but was still able to get some work done before hitting the hay. A perfect ride, punctuated by some racing and great conversation. Thirty miles with a top speed of 30 mph. My kind of ride!


Gotta Run..Gotta Ride said...

heck yes..that is your kind of ride. I loke reading these post.

Keep it up and take some more pictures. Nice to see where everyone rides in blogland.

Anonymous said...

That's what an athlete's neighborhood must look like: Close by trails and coffee shops to fuel up on long days! And if you can train on a tuesday, that's even the best!!!