or "Who needs testosterone when you have an active imagination?"
The "Story" in my mind:
I was returning from an early morning ride last summer. The Amtrak Century was only a few weeks away and I was putting in 175+ miles per week, with some days hitting the hills hard, some spin/recovery days, an interval day, and one long day per week.
This ride was my 'longer' one, so my pace was a little slower. I rode from south O.C. down PCH through all of the beach towns toward San Diego, turning around at the top of Torrey Pines grade, 45 miles into the ride.
I was on Camp Pendleton, about 15 miles from home and approaching a stop sign. I noticed two single riders and a couple on a tandem parked at the intersection. As I got closer I recognized the couple on the tandem -- Pete and Joanne Penseyres.
I hadn't seen him since the start of RAAM in Oceanside a couple years ago. He and his brother Jim were on an 8 person mixed team.
So I said hi, stopped to eat a granola bar while they went ahead and off they went.
I caught them a few minutes later on the short hill heading north from Las Pulgas. I passed them with ease. A couple miles later I stopped to use the restroom and they were there when I came out. This time I decided to stay behind them.
Wow, my training was really paying off! I had to shift to an easier cog and really spin to stay behind them. After 8 or 10 miles they bailed out on a left turn and I was able to pick up my pace for the rest of my ride.
Imagine that... after 75-85 miles of a 90 mile training ride I was still able to 'push' an actual legend.
Note to self: Buy a larger helmet. I'm just too awesome.
The Real story:
All of the above is true except the important little details.
Like the fact that Pete and Joanne weren't on a 'training ride'. They were on their way to breakfast in San Clemente from their home in Fallbrook, a ride of at least equal length to mine but with a lot more hills (not that hills would slow them down). And the fact that I was riding within 2 mph of my maximum century pace (14-16 mph) and Pete has maintained that average speed for 3000 miles, over the Rocky Mountains, against 25 mph headwinds, in the dead of night, in the desert and in thunderstorms -- a RAAM record that has stood for more than 20 years.
But who wants to include 'reality' in an internet post?
I guess my helmet size is actually too big after all.