This has been my second ďkick backĒ ride with my bike club in as many weeks. Last week after a rather easy start we just happened to come upon 4 hills or grades that tested my legs more than I had expected. I figured it was just a coincidence and at least I finished the ride with the rest of the group. I felt good about the ride even if as I have said in other posts, I am not a big fan of hills.
Today when I got to the starting point of our ride the two lead riders mentioned they were feeling a bit lazy and we would be taking another kick back ride. One of the slower riders led part of the ride and I even was in the front for a few miles. Then we made a turn towards the foothills and the next thing I knew I saw a rather long looking hill in front of us. To be honest I was hoping we were going to turn before we reached the bottom of the hill but we didnít. I held on the best I could for a while but slowly but surely I fell behind. As I crested the hill I was pretty disappointed to see it was relatively flat on the other side. However I did manage to catch up to the group, as they didnít seem to be in a great hurry. About the time my breathing was back to normal and my legs stopped hurting I saw we were coming up to an even steeper hill. It turned out to be a two-stage hill with the first half being the hardest.
To make matters even worse towards the top of the hill a German shepherd came running out after us. However he was more interested in racing with the leaders to the top of the hill so by the time I got there he was tired and trotted home.
The ride from there back to the coffee shop was uneventful and once again I finished with the group. However these hills were harder than the last ones and my suspicion is they were teaching me something. Sneaky teachers.
I'm thinking that you shouldn't play polker with your lead riders. They sound to me like they have mastered the art of cajoling their "marks" into contributing to big pots that they are going to win.
You are more than likely right. They knew how I felt about hills and they didnít give anything away with their eyes. The dog did help me get up the second hill.
Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
Today was the best lesson to date. I had discovered that to our ride leaders spoke in code. A recovery ride was code for shorter, 30-mile ride with hills tossed in. I then made the mistake of believing that the 40 to 45 mile ride we had planned today would be flatter and faster. We had a different ride leader and the ride was faster and for the most part flatter till we hit the two steepest hills I have faced to date. I managed to finish about 400 yards behind at the coffee shop. Two things happened today. I was tapped out by the time I got home and I broke a spoke at the 25-mile mark. It took both bottles and both energy bars to get me through the ride. With the two big hills tossed in my average speed wasnít increased one bit today. And with the increased fatigue I had no spin left for the last three miles of the ride home.
Cycle Year Round
I think you need a meaner dog if you really want to climb.
Originally Posted by Robert Foster
Well the dog didnít have much left after he pushed the lead group over the hill faster than they originally wanted to go. But I was far enough behind that he was pretty tuckered out and was heading back to his porch when I got to his fence. He made a pretty half hearted effort to run back out to the road. On todayís hills I would have been dead meat. But the last hill was in the city where there are leash laws so no dogs were running after us. Today's leader was part mountain goat. He kept saying that I would be ready for a ride from Sun City to Oceanside next year. I am still taking one step at a time.
Originally Posted by CB HI
I've ridden with groups like this in the past. In one instance I was going through a right of passage before I could be fully accepted by the group. In another instance, it was just a group the hammered all the time. I guess in my earlier years I learned to select riding partners/groups with great care.
Yes, I realize there are groups out there that hammer all the time and there are ones that are a bit like these forums in that they are interested in new riders developing their enjoyment of the sport. Both have their place but the former seems to develop closer loyalty and friendship I believe. Much like some people in these forums the group I ride with seems much more interested in helping a new rider develop and get into a fit condition. They know I dislike hills because they know how out of shape I am. But every time they get me to extend myself they know I will become more confident and I will enjoy the club rides even more. Not everyone in the group feels that way I am sure but the ones that tend to be leaders seems to.
Originally Posted by NOS88