Today was the first club ride after my first century last Saturday. It rained Sunday so I spent about an hour on the life cycle. I managed to walk a mile between showers. Monday it rained so there was no club ride again so another hour on the life cycle and walked another mile. Tuesday was off and on rain so I only got a walk in.
Today the skies cleared and it looked like we would get in a club ride. The group was a bit small for a Wednesday. I was planning on taking it easy for this ride and was pleasantly surprised how good my legs felt. As we pulled onto one of the main roads heading out of town I was just hanging on to the end of the pace line and they were just cruising along with a slight headwind.
Then about a mile ahead of us I could see the hill coming. It is only about ˝ of a mile long and maybe 250 feet in elevation but it is always the place where I get dropped. Today however I was still feeling pretty strong, as we got closer to the hill and as one of our riders broke out of the line I decided to go with him. As we started up the hill one of our stronger riders pulled passed us and started a quasi sprint up the hill. I managed to pull out from the rider I was following and jump on the second riders back wheel. I followed as close as I could expect to run out of gas any minute but I was overjoyed I was staying with him. He stood up and I managed to remain on his wheel and as he sat back down a miracle happened. I pulled out and passed him and started pulling away. About 30 yards later I was beginning to think I would have to down shift or stand myself but when I looked back I knew he wouldn’t catch me.
I would have thought my legs would have needed far more recovery time after the century but I believe all that time in the saddle the Saturday before had done something to my peddling technique. All I know is my bike felt smoother for the whole 40-mile ride.