So I had a pretty awesome ride today that sent my confidence through the roof!! Let me rewind and give a little back story.
Last summer, I was roughly 320 lbs and hadn't ridden a road bike, pretty much ever. I started riding and losing weight. One of my first rides was with a friend of mine who is a hardcore triathlete. He has literally done dozens of Iron-man distance triathlons. That ride with him last year was pretty much him going for a quick spin while I gasped for air trying to just keep him in sight a mile ahead of me! At one point during a hill climb, I'm about to pass out from over exertion when I look up ahead and see him un-clip one shoe and pedal up the hill one legged!
Then I rode like a maniac the rest of the summer and through the crappy Washington winter and the equally as crappy Washington spring. I lost a bunch of weight and am now down to around 260 lbs and my legs are looking noticeably more toned and muscular.
Then today I went for another ride with my triathlete friend. He's training for the Ride Around Mt Rainier One Day ride so he led the way pretty much the entire time and set a blistering fast pace that was rarely below 20 mph on the flats. I managed to stay on his wheel. We got on some back country roads where traffic isn't an issue and we rode side by side to chit chat while we rode. Still riding like the cops are chasing us at a good 17-20 mph while talking and somehow I'm not gasping for air. Then we get to our hill climbs. I figure, OK, he's gonna go zooming up these hills and leave me in the dust. He may have been sandbagging it a bit for my benefit, but I stayed with him through about 1100 feet of climbing. We get to the top and I'm feeling good. Then he starts telling me about how this mile marker is so far from a road we are turning on and suddenly we are in a time trial (apparently) as he gets in full aero tuck and takes off. I'm digging pretty deep at this point, but still feeling good and his pace is still in the 20's and we are 30 miles in. But I got in the drops, pedaled like a mad man and managed to stay on his wheel, completely red-lining it for a good 15 to 20 minutes straight. I started to yo-yo a bit but he never got more than a couple bike lengths ahead of me. We got to our turn off and slowed down to talk a bit more. He looks like it's another walk in the park obviously, but I was still feeling great. I was winded, but recovered pretty quick. We rode almost 50 miles total.
By the time we were done, I was shocked! I have been riding a lot but it has almost all been solo rides so I guess I didn't really have anything to gauge my progress other than my own personal Strava data. I mean, last year I could literally barely keep this guy in sight, let alone stay with him for 50 miles! Anyways, my confidence is soaring right now! I just thought I would share my happy story!