Sunday, July 6, 2008

Riding with Friends - Old and New

This weekend were my first serious rides since the Terrible Two and the planned 10-day rest that followed. So after weeks and months of riding alone, I was determined to ride with friends.

It started on Friday, our nation's birthday, when Tim and I (Tim is my coach) went out for a short 40 mile ride. We kept things fairly flat and set out on a nice even pace. I must admit I spent the entire ride drafting on his back wheel. Tim picked a great route that allowed us to ride side-by-side a lot so there was plenty of chit chat. We talked about so many things that now as I write this I can't think of a single one of them. This was a huge departure from the hours I spent riding alone and getting bored talking to myself. We finished at Bad Ass Coffee and continued the conversation over coffee and warm sunshine.

On Saturday morning, I met Pat after his swim workout and we headed out for 50-55 miles. Pat is training for the Vineman 70.3 Triathlon. It was already warm so no wind vest or arm warmers. It was the perfect Sonoma County morning for riding. Pat and I climbed the first little grunt and I noticed we both stayed in the big ring. We started joking about it and then decided to try and stay in the big for the entire ride. Of course, that was before we consulted the route Tim provided which included some significant hills. But we decided to "man up" (a favorite expression in our group) and go for it. The end result was 56 miles with just under 2000 feet of climbing all in the big ring. As cool as that was I was definitely feeling it on the last few miles. However, it is great to push yourself every now and then, even if it hurts a little.

Sunday arrives and I wake up with very fatigued legs. This is just great because I am riding with Sarah and David, who are both also training for the Vineman 70.3 Triathlon and they are planning on 55-60 miles at good pace. But I checked Sarah's description and she plans on staying at 18-20 mph. I can do that! So off to Sarah's to start the ride. About 3 miles into the ride we picked up another rider on the road who is going our way so he joins us. We hit the first straight road and Sarah takes off with David, me and new guy right behind her. Eventually she peels off and David lifts the pace. I worked incredibly hard to stay on his wheel but after a sustained effort of 26-27 mph, I drop off. My legs are just way too tired from Saturday. So off goes David with Sarah in pursuit. That leaves me and new guy who's name is Dino. As we watch them ride away (hey - it's not my training ride), we settle into a nice pace and just start chatting the way 2 people do when meeting for the first time. Eventually, I tell Sarah and David to go do their thing as I did not have the legs for that pace or distance. (Dino and I had to take a shortcut to catch them.) So I cut the ride short and rode back with Dino on his route. I still ended up with 38 miles for the day.

This is one of the things I love about cycling. You meet someone new on the road and you just start riding together. It is so cool. I told Dino how to contact our cycling group so he may join us on more rides in the future.

In the meantime, I will continue to ride and chat with whoever is one bike next to me.


1 Comment(s):

Sarah said...

Well didn't that all work out just perfectly? Though I must admit, over the first 5 miles of the ride I was seriously thinking "oh, I might have to cut this short." My legs were BRICKS!!

But then after the point I passed you on Petaluma Hill Rd, my legs started to settle into it. They were still sore the whole time, but I managed my goal pace and David and I stayed together.

I was hoping Dino would end up riding with you and he did!! Thanks for correcting my route...there's no way I could've managed anything more than what we did. It was perfect and we omitted Vine Hill for a total of 57 miles. Left us enough time for an 18 min run afterward!

So - I guess the next time we'll ride together will probably be after Vineman - when I can do a fun ride, too!!

Good to see you today, Lee - albeit briefly!