Unusual thing happened on my ride today. After I had done the hills and had the coffee- I decided to get a few miles in across the marshes. Flat ground with plenty of 90 deg bends and a slight continual slight uphill slope. One or two pimples but nothing that can remotely be called a hill. About 5 miles along the coast and I was ready for a bit of leg work. First of all, I am not a speed merchant. Most of my riding is in the middle 42t ring and I am normally around 15mph on this road. Today I felt good so the speed went up to 18mph. I felt comfortable and just starting to breath firmly. Kept the cadence to 100 so decided to see what I was comfortable at. For about a mile- I got to 26mph and that was middle ring and about15 on the rear. Now cadence of 100- speed of 26mph and 42/15 gearing- What the h&ll do I need a 52 ring for? I know- So I can do 30mph- but I reckon that would be possible in 42/11- except not today as I tried it. All that happened was that the cadence dropped to 80ish. I could not go faster without pushing myself too far.
Then the unusual happened after I slowed back down to 18mph. A group of 5 roadies came along and they were puffing. They saw me pull out in front of them about 3 miles back and reckoned they had someone to chase, so off they went. Just as they got me in their sights- I accelerated and they thought they had a race on. For the past mile I had been leaving them. Why had I slowed down? Then the comments came-He's only got Sora 8 speed and its an MTB cassette- Its not a top grade bike. They were regular riders- not top club riders and were just out for a 30 mile fast ride. Admittedly they had already done 20 miles so were a bit tired but all of it had been on the marshes. When I told them where I had already been that morning I thought a couple of them were about to fall off their bikes. We waved goodbye and the last comment I heard was-"Did you see his calf muscles? How old do you reckon he was?" If I had any energy left, I would have caught them up and told them my age but to be honest- I was just about finished.
Nice to show the youngsters up but They caught me at just the correct time when I was trying to prove something to myself. Just because it proved that they need a bit more training and a few more hills on their routes, worries me now- They might catch me on one of the hills I do and really find out how slow I am.