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Old 04-16-11, 12:42 PM   #1
cyclinfool
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Report: 1st club ride of 2011

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.
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Old 04-16-11, 01:38 PM   #2
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Until it all warms up- Carrying a bit of blubber is not a bad thing to do. One reason I prefer to ride solo is that I do not have to keep to someone elses pace. I do a few 20 milers with around 600ft of climbing with nothing too severe and keep to an average of around 15mph. I get the legs turning and the occasional bit of breathing hard but nothing to wear me out but in a few weeks time there is my first serious ride of the year. Organised ride and only 40 miles with one slope in it. Problem is that it is across the marshes and plenty of short straights with tight bends so plenty of braking and accelerating. Try to do that at 16mph and if I do--I know it. If I don't manage that speed- then I also know it.

But can't wait till I am fit enough to tackle the hills round here. Plenty of them but none more than 1 mile long but an average of 10 to15%. 3 or 4 of them on a ride and it is a good ride. I say I can't wait to do them but it is that fitness that is holding me back. Just can't seem to get that right now. Perhaps I ought to join a club where the other riders will try to kill me off before I am ready.
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Old 04-16-11, 02:54 PM   #3
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Nice report cf. When you mentioned climbing I had to laugh a little. Not at you, but me. I went on a charity ride 2 weeks ago and it had a lot of climbing. It was fun, but a lot of hard work. I liked going down hill at 35 mph, but up hill was another story. I had my maximum heart rate pegged at 170 bpm several times. I was telling the guy at the shop about it and he laughed and told me, that's the area they train for the Iron Man. I said I can see why. At least I found a place why I can do some hill climbs. I'm going to go there more often. I probably could write a whole page on the ride, but I'll just say it was a blast. I had my camera and didn't take one shot. I will the next time I go.
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Old 04-16-11, 03:10 PM   #4
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I did my second club ride of all time last Wednesday, first being over a year ago, and was a little apprehensive at first.
Remembering what happened last time I knew that the "B" riders were a little slower than I thought so I wanted to ride with the "A" guys.
When we started out I was at the back feeling everyone out. There were about 10 riders? maybe and I saw that what was happening was 5 guys pulling ahead with a little gap forming so I took off and bridged the gap.
This was also first ride with new wheels so I was checking them out as well as time went on. I noticed again that I was able to stay with these guys and started to go in rotation and take some pulls. It turned out that one other guy started to show he was the leader and I was able to stay with him.
We broke away and finished the ride together. The last 6-7 miles were into a head wind and the other guy was stronger than me no doubt and took the lead most the way, I tried to help a few times but my legs were toast and told him.
I really do not think the regular "A" riders were there because even the guy in the lead thought that as well.
It was cool though and I will more than likely go again even though I prefer solo. This ride really tested me and I know will make a stronger rider.
Side note on new wheels was that on little downgrades I saw that I had to coast when others were pedaling.I had to feather brakes to stay there. Not sure why that was but I noticed it. New wheels rolling better? maybe
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Old 04-16-11, 04:07 PM   #5
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Stapfam,

I can appreciate being out of shape - it's hard this time of year. Starting the hill climbing now is hard but pays dividends quickly as I have found in years past. My riding buddy and I have been discussing Mt Greylock from the North side, about 2700' of vertical with some major steeps at the start - this beginning the training for the Whiteface race (3800') in June.

George,
Great to hear from you again! I am glad you found some hills to climb, this will really help with the speed.

Kr32,
Our B+ group usually logs a 18-19 mph average over rolling terrain with a few good climbs with mid 20's on the flats, I have ridden with them a few times, a good group but I usually can't stay with them for the entire ride. The ride I do with them in the summer covers 85 miles in the Adirondacks, it has 9000' of climbing and the average is usually just over 18mph. There is almost no flat terrain on that ride. No way I could do that this early in the season. I have never ridden with the A group - they are usually on a race formal training program.
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Old 04-16-11, 04:38 PM   #6
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cyclinfool,

Sounds like your B group is where I want to be.
Like I said I believe the real A group was not there the other night.
The first time I rode with this group, and it was my very first time riding with a group, the A boys must have gone on a longer route because on the way in four of them passed me like I was standing still when the route coincided again.
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