April begins the series of organized group rides in the Carolinas. It's not hard to find a ride within an hour's drive of the house just about any weekend.
Yesterday I drove over and did a ride not too far from Charlotte. It was a first time event and had 70-80 riders. Since it started on a college campus there were a lot of young riders and surprisingly a lot of female riders.
There were two route options, 30 and a metric century and I did the metric century route. I jumped out with a few folks that seemed to want to get on down the road. It quickly turned into a group of 5 of us---3 young guys and two 50+.
After about 20 miles the other 50+ and I sat up and rode our own pace, taking turns pulling. Interestingly this really nice fellow and I had met last year on the Assault on Mt Mitchell. After we figured that out we had a great ride and talked for the next 25 miles or so.
Okay, so it is NOT a race but wait......there's riders out there ahead of me. Note to self: ignore those voices in the future.
With 15 miles to go I felt pretty good but my new found buddy said to go ahead as he was straining more on the hills so I picked up the pace a little. Up ahead I saw one of the 3 young fellows we had started with. I was able to pull him in within a mile or so and he and I really picked up the pace. In fact, we chased down one of the other young guys with about 5 miles to go. By the time we passed him he seemed to really be struggling and didn't feel like riding our pace.
So, now there is only one more fellow out there ahead of us. I never saw him but it certainly wasn't because of lack of effort towards the end of the ride.
It was a good tune-up for upcoming events. Things I need to work on: hydrate better during the week and during the ride (I've got to watch my clock on the ride), eat more/plan better ( I don't stop and didn't take enough nourishment with me for the effort involved) and most importantly remember to take my darn camera!!! I could have had some terrific pics before and after the ride!!!
This was the warmest day we've had this year but still had the March winds. Not a bad day at all to ride. Immediately after the ride I ventured over and played 18 holes of golf (hey- is that a biathalon?? to prepare for the upcoming Pro-Am event in May). Today I'm heading out to do 80 miles to the top of Mt Mitchell and back-LOT of climbing on tired legs. Not sure how that is going to go as I broke my training regime and succumbed to a really tasty margarita last night.