So, I moved to a new town a few months ago. I found the local club and went to the Tuesday night "A" ride. I had to answer a lot of questions to establish that I could hang with them and ended up pulling a few of them home. Then I took some time off the bike, got a vasectomy, gained a few (more) pounds, and now went back for another "A" ride.
So, I show up and it looks like I could have eatten any two of the other riders. They are ALL stick people. One of the guys tells me the pace has picked up since my last ride and I think "I may have 2 or 3 or 40 extra lbs, but I have NEVER had trouble hanging with a club ride!!" I smuggly tell them I have a GPS to find my way home if I get dropped. (like that'll happen!! Sheesh!)
So, the ride picks up the pace at about 4 miles. We're averaging about 22 mph. That is a bit more than the 19 mph avg we did earlier in the year. That's when I start noticing that these guys are in a LOT better shape than they were a few months ago! I start feeling my motor slip, so I pop a Hammer Gel and shorten my pulls.
Okay, so we're doing about 20 - 22 mph and I am thinking, I can hang in here. Then this pair on a tandem decides their bored. They go to the front and start pulling at 25 - 27 mph. There taking some long pulls and I am crawling up on their back wheel to stay in the draft. They pull through and it's my pull. I got NOTHING. I pull through and the next guy comes up. 20 mph. The next guy, 20 mph. The tandem goes back to the front, 27 mph. I am in the middle of the pace line and can't hold the wheel in front of me. I pull out and fall to the back... and watch them go.
They go around the next bend out of sight. I go around the bend and can't see them. CRAP.
I turn my Garmin Edge onto the breadcrumb mode and slog my way back the 18 miles to the LBS. I averaged over 19 mph ALONE on the way back, but couldn't hang with that paceline.
I waited around for them to get back so they didn't think I was dead in a ditch some where. They were all cool and tried to make the fat guy feel better and I actually think I got some respect from a few of them.
Anyway, with my ride to the LBS I did over 50 miles today. I realize a) I am getting old and can't abuse myself and expect to still perform, b) I was WAY too cocky (I still think of myself as 9% BF and 22 years old) and c) I am WAY out of shape. Time to throw myself out and lose some of this (*$@@# weight! How did I get like this?!?!