Fifty Plus (50+) - Weekend Ride - New Record!
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05-06-07, 09:43 PM
I was able to ride with our old/young/male/female/road/mountain/recumbent/hybrid/whatever-kinda-bike-you-got group for the first time this year (sorry Stap, no tandems in the group yet). Rode 38 miles with 1,519 feet of climbing. Double-digit !!#*#!! wind going out, and super cruise tail wind on the way back.
On the way out, I got into my first pace line (I think). Some of our folks get a little enthusiastic once in a while. Anyway, I was third in the line and stayed within a few inches No. 2's rear tire. I focused almost exclusively on his rear tire. I'm not sure if that is the right way to do it or not. If No. 1 had crashed, No. 2 and I and No. 4 would have been one big twisted pile of steel, aluminum, carbon, spandex, flesh, blood, bone and sinew. After we did that for a mile or so, we stopped an an intersection and waited for the crowd.
I set a new land speed record coming down the first hill on the return trip, 43.8 mph! Big ring, little cog, tail wind, pedaled about one third of the way down then tucked in tight. A little scary for an old fart like me, but it brought back a little of the excitement of the days of yore. Yes, intermittent visions of terminal road rash did flash through my consciousness on the way down the hill.
This wasn't a record length ride, but it was good to reconnect with the crew. The after-ride bull session is always a pleasure.
So, what's your weekend ride report???
05-06-07, 11:25 PM
So, what's your weekend ride report???
35 mi on Friday late afternoon, 40 mi late on Sat afternoon. Friday was a ride part way around Lake Washington (Redmond to Seattle and back). Sat was from Orting out toward Mt Rainier Natl Park, this has become my favorite ride, except for the 40 mile drive; somehow the solitude near the Park is therapeutic and almost worth the time/expense of the drive.
05-07-07, 12:01 AM
RE: drafting....I sometimes glance down at wheel to wheel separation, but mostly keep my eyes on the back/butt of the guy in front of me with an eye past him for road debris, etc. Not everyone signals junk up front or in time. It's good to know who it is you're drafting-- some people jink and drift and slow/speed up more than others.
05-07-07, 01:44 AM
One of the things about drafting is that you must trust the other riders around you. I normally lead out in my group and They don't draft- Theye keep about 6ft back which does not give them any advantage over what they could take. Now if the others do decide to give me a break- They overtake me and put on about an extra 5 mph. I don't bother to get to them as I know that in 200 yards or so I will be back in front as they have used all their energy.
He died a few years ago But I had a riding partner in Mike. We used to ride every where together and we knew each other inside out. As soon as we were on a flat road it was drafting time. We use to be so close to each other that you would occasionally get the Noise as the tyres just touched. Never used to bother either of us, but if you want to have faith in other riders- you have to ride a lot together- you have to know each other and you have to have confidence in each other.
That is why I do not draft with my current set of riding companions- I do not trust them.
Then occasionally you get out on a ride and find riders of about your standard. They all seem to be about the same power as you and although there is a lot of side by side riding- the line of bikes start to appear. Last summer I got in with such a group and it finished up with 7 riders in a chain- all trusting in each and going along the flat road for about 5 miles at a good 5mph faster than we were doing as a group. Then came a hill and it all broke up.
Going back to the Tandem-as it has been mentioned- Stuart and I got into a drafting with one group a couple of years ago. Problem is that a Tandem is pretty quick and we found ourselves towing a lot of riders for a lot of miles. It was not too tiring for us but it got to one rider that wanted to take the lead. It took him so long to overtake us that he finished up riding alongside us at about 20mph. We gradually got him up to 25mph and he just started puffing. We asked if he was OK and just as he answered- we put in a couple of quick turns on the pedals to raise the speed to 30mph and left him for dead. We had got fed up with towing so many riders at this point we kept the speed up till the end of the ride and just watched the group come in as we sat out the front of a Pub at the finish with our pints and pasties to hand.
It was gloriously sunny, the thermometer reading decently in the 50s, but the north wind was gusting in right off Lake Ontario. I got a mile out in the morning and turned around to put on more layers at home.
Rode with another club member who's leading a newbie ride in a couple of weeks. Well, not newbies, but those looking to graduate from the canal path to road riding. It was basically Tour de Tract Homes. A couple of climbs and a few miles of highway, but mostly relentlessly boring tract homes. Twenty-five miles of 'em. The most exciting thing was when I missed a turn on the map and wound up in a cul de sac. Yawn.
Even a screaming descent back into the start in a park wasn't enough to clear the cobwebs that built during the ride. At home, I luxuriated in a three-hour afternoon nap.
The winds relented and by sunset, they were dead calm. It even felt like the thermometer reading. I fired up the lights and hammered off into the sunset. Rode rolling hills south before turning west. Set a new personal-best to a usual turnaround point. Then rode recovery back. Well most of the way. I'll confess to a couple of stoplight sprints once back in the city. Twenty-five miles, just like the morning ride, but immensely more satisfying.
CrossChain is correct-it's ok to focus in the guy directly in front but next time try and use the back of the jersey, saddle, etc so you're looking up a little more. Eventually you'll get where you instinctly just hold the distance of a few inches and are riding off the cyclist 2-3 spots ahead.
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