Join Date: Aug 2009
Bikes: Raleigh Supercourse
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So the Ride Report, I'm sorry it is so long I was in a writing mood apparently:
I felt great this morning and it was the nicest cycling day I've ever seen. Started with temps around 56 deg F and finished with 72 deg F. No wind to speak of.
The group I rode with is well established and has many members. There were approx 25 guys and one girl that met up at a coffee shop for this weekly ride. All older than me (I'm 36). It seemed like the guys had been riding together for years. A observation that was spot on I would learn later.
The ride started with everyone meandering through normally busy yet calm streets, (sunday morning) for about 8 miles doing a 14-16 mph pace. Of course I took my place in the back of the group. Everyone stopped at a park where the 'leader' announced there would be a face-paced group and a slow-paced group. Sounds good I thought, I know I'm with the slow group and both are supposed to be 'no drop' rides. So he instructed all the faster riders to go ahead and take off. No one moved. Many spoke up and said they were all going slow today.
Hindsight being 20/20, my BS alarm should have been blaring. Everyone, somewhat slowly at first, started clipping in and heading out on the pre-determined route. Some were very slow so I took a place about eighth. I followed pretty close, it was great getting my first feel of drafting behind 7 riders. Then I looked at my cyclocomputer, yikes! 21, 22, 23, 25 mph! We were bookin! And then they were gone. Not gradually either, like a Ferrari passing me while I'm going backwards. My legs didn't appreciate the speed as much as my brain did.
I looked back behind me and the true 'slow group' was no where to be seen. I slowed the pace to about 16, constantly taking glances behind me for the rest of the riders. I rolled up on one guy from the break-way group, he had an equipment malfunction but was back on riding. He said, "Come with me, let's reel 'em in". Stupid me, I tried hard...almost too hard with this guy to catch the lead group. It was stupid. I realized that I had burned too many matches with 3/4 of the ride remaining.
I stopped at a C Store, bought some more water and waited about 5 minutes for the "slow group". They still weren't coming. At the end of the ride I learned one had a flat right at the start and they went through 3 tubes getting the bike road ready. So I rode on, did about 10 miles by myself. I was laughing at myself because I was excited for a group ride but here I was riding solo.
3 guys peeled off from that first group and actually came back looking for me. I wasn't able to introduce myself at the start but we solved that and they were all very nice. They were great, and set a pace that I could somewhat manage (about 18 mph at that point). I was however, slowing them down. And then we came to a killer hill and I instructed them to not wait on me. They didn't and were gone in the flash of an eye.
I was really wishing I had saved some of those matches for this hill! I was doing 6 mph barely making it. I never stopped and was pretty proud of that fact. The ride down the other side I was able to clock a 35 mph new personal top speed, so that was nice.
So I rode over half of the 45 mile 'group ride' by myself. I did it in 2 hrs 40 min. I did meet up with riders from both groups once I made it back to the starting point where I learned the story of the tire repair debacle from the slow group.
One thing I learned today is that while I am doing better, getting in shape, losing lbs etc. I need to ride much, much more to get to the level that I want to be...sailing along with that lead group and not getting dropped like a hot potato. The good thing is I love working at getting there all I need is time.
Last edited by Idahofish; 08-16-09 at 07:32 PM.