I was planning on a 50-mile spin, taking it relatively easy after yesterday's 41-miler. This is all part of my "long slow distance" endurance-building plan. Somehow I hooked up with a group of 20- and 30-something racer wannabes. We rode through the hill country rollers at 18-24 mph and at one point on the flats we were going 30. That's Cat5 race pace. Needless to say, I got spit out the back of the group (that was now down to about 8 riders) at around the 31-mile point. Great. I'm out in the countryside, I don't have a map, I am only vaguely aware of where I am. 10 miles later I find myself in a town I know. I go on various roads that look different (and are different) from the roads I used to know 15 years ago when I last rode out that way. Finally I find the right road and get back to town. Good points: some fast riding, but still got my long slow distance in. I ended up with a metric century. I did not have any problems with my knees, no cramping, felt reasonably good the whole time. Bad points: riding harder than I wanted to, and more importantly, harder than I was capable of. Messing up my training schedule by riding too hard. Getting lost in the middle of nowhere is also no fun.
Best part: really nice ride in great weather (albeit a mite windy).