Got up this morning and got ready for the Friday group ride. After breakfast of oatmeal and a banana and about 30 minutes to digest it I left for the meeting place. All the way there I had last Wednesdays ride in my head, which was one of the faster rides we have had to date. When I pulled up to the group I noticed it was smaller than it had been Monday or Wednesday so I was a bit worried about where they would want to go. Then I heard two words that made me smile, “recovery ride”.
I know my face must have almost exploded with a smile as I contemplated actually being able to see the other riders all the way to the coffee shop where we all were to meet up at the end of the ride. The ride was at least 4 MPH slower than the one on Wednesday and I was feeling pretty good about myself. At about 11 miles out I was riding next to one of our club riders and just asked if he was doing OK. His response was, “Ya, but I was just thinking about the three hills we will be hitting on this ride.” This news just about took the wind out of my sails.
About then I saw the first hill and even though I did my best I started falling back after less than 50 yards. By the top of the hill my legs were burning but I still had some energy left. I downed about 1/3 of a bottle of hydration drink and tried to close with the other riders. I was doing OK till we hit the second hill. I pushed this one a lot harder than the first and my legs burned a bit more. More hydration liquid and I continued on. Then the third hill and I just had to drop three gears and motor on as best as I could.
Lucky for me the riders in front were in no hurry so I could still see them. Finally I managed to pull up on the group and we cruised for about 5 miles on a steady uphill grade to the turn around point at a ranger station. The ride back to the coffee shop was all down hill for the same 5 miles. To me the best part was I got to the coffee shop about the same time as everyone else. I think I like recovery rides.