And so it starts. Today was the first "long" ride of the season. I had been pretty good about training for it since being off the bike from the end of November through the end of March. My longest ride this season was 45 miles and I had started some hill climbing. No pictures - we lost our little camera a few weeks back. I think there will be one pic posted which I can nab and post later. Here is the report.
The weather was mid 40s with gusty winds, I pulled the Simoncinni off the rack and I wore tights, thin top base layer, long sleeve jersey, wind breaker, skull cap and full length gloves. The ride started OK - I was hanging with the lead pack, my plan was to stick behind them until after the first big hill then let them go and ride my own ride. Unfortunately it didn't last that long. The first time I needed to accellerate hard (coming out of a turn) the rear wheel slipped in the dropouts and started to rub the chainstay. I pulled off and fixed it and they were gone - no way was I going to burn everything to catch up - at that time they were doing in the low 20's. So there it began. I rode with a nice young couple from downstate who at the end of the season last year discovered the joys of metrics & centurys. They were good strong riders and they were riding hybrids with wider tires - but they were going my speed so we took turns pulling. This went on for the first 40 miles but then I began to feel myself bonking a bit. The aid station at mile 20 only had fig newtons & cookies and I really don't like either so I only eat a little - thus the loss of energy. I made it to the second aid station but had to let the young'ns go. There I was able to get a bananna and a sandwich, do some stretching and head off for the last 20 miles. I rode this alone but kept good speed. The first half of the ride gains about 300' of elevation over rolling hills and the wind was in our face. The second half is also rolling hills with a couple of steep sections but you loose the elevation (of course) and the wind was more from the back.
I rode this loop last year on the Tarmac - it was a hard ride because I was fighting the winter fat and the slightly harsher ride grated on my body at the end. This year my average was a little better but I was not fried at the end like last year - I was fighting this past winters fat. And so it starts - metrics will begin to seem like average rides as we get closer to the centurys later in the year. The fat will disappear (only to show itself again next winter ).