Today I felt ready for an easy club ride, a B ride with a posted average of 15 to 16 mph and 40 miles. This was my 5th ride of the year and would put me at about 105 miles total. So I have not ridden much yet. The weather was cloudy with rain forecast-ed later in the day, a damp raw 37 degrees with a 15 - 20 mph wind.
Well, if you have done club rides you know that posted averages are always low as there are a large group of regulars that just want to hammer, the ride leader can do nothing about this. Also - considering the conditions there were more of the type A riders on this ride since the others have more sense than to go riding for 40 miles in these conditions.
The main group started out as expected, after a few miles of warm up the average was running around 21 mph (we did have the wind at our backs). One rider had a flat and the ride leader went back to help - the last we saw of them. Two other riders went off the back. Staying with the main group for the first half of the ride I found myself just about to fall off the back, I needed to preserve energy for the later half where the wind would be in the face and I would be tired (my one long ride this year was only 30 miles).
As I let the pack go a rider dropped back and told me to draft him, which I gladly did, he rode well and I could hold his wheel easily. He took me back to the pack and told me to stay behind another rider I had been riding behind before - frankly that rider was horrible to ride behind, could not hold a straight line or constant speed - that is why I didn't bother with it before. I felt like telling this guy - I know what to do, I have been doing it since you were in diapers - but there is no need to be snippy to someone trying to help, so I just smiled and let the pack go again. I kept them in sight for another 10 miles but as they went around a turn I stopped to pull out the map as I was not sure of the route from this point on and I knew I could not rely on seeing which way they headed. It was the last I saw of them and my speed slowed to 15 as the cold wind hit.
I finished the ride with a 16.7 average which is just about where I thought I should be at this time of the year. By June all this will change as my conditioning improves.
A good morning ride all in all. Tomorrow I will do my first real climb of the season, I will do this solo as it will be pretty ugly. I have not picked the hill yet but probably one of a few that offer a modest terraced 1000' climb with grades from 4 to 12%. Depends on how the legs feel tomorrow.
Training has begun again, there are three events in June and it's only 6 weeks away. I do feel that I am entering this season stronger than ever - although a little on the fat side, but that too will change.