Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Another weekend of riding

Well, I was determined to write something that did not resemble a ride report this time around. Maybe something more philosophical or humorous. But after a glorious 3 days of cycling, here I go again.

On Friday I was at a seminar all day half listening to the presenter and half watching the weather get more and more beautiful. It's hard to concentrate on new ways to communicate when all I can think of is I want to be on my bike. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, I do not have windows in my office or I might never get anything done.

Anyway, the seminar wraps up for the day at 3:45. Sweet! A quick call to the office to ensure nothing needs my attention and I am heading home to get in a ride. Sense this is an unexpected surprise, I decide to head out on the Vegas (my single speed), Every time I ride that bike I am reminded of the simple joys of cycling. I did not have any particular destination in mind. I simply rode for the joy of riding. It was awesome!

There was no group ride this Saturday so I found myself on my own. After a short run, I decided to head out into a gorgeous Spring morning. I was actually able to leave around 8ish with no arm warmers or wind vest. I almost took out the Vegas again, but Sunday's ride had the potential to be a touch brutal so I opted for Paolo (my geared bike). It was simply another great ride. Nothing fancy. Just 40 miles of rolling through the vineyards, gardens and forests of Spring in Sonoma County.

On Sunday I was invited to join 2Wheel Racing on their group ride by my buddy Jeff. In Jeff's defense, he has invited me numerous times, this was just the first time I made it. I like the idea of riding with the 2Wheel folks, I have met many of them on other rides, but they leave at 9:00 which is about 2 hours later then I would normally hit the road. But since there were no big plans for Sunday I negotiate with Sherry to start and finish the ride later and off I go.

We started nice and mellow along the bike path while enjoying the day. It felt like we were going to push right through Spring into Summer. (Santa Rosa broke a 102 year old record with a high of 91 on Sunday). We climbed on of my favorite hills on Graton Road and prepared for a high-paced hammerfest down Bohemian Hwy into Monte Rio.

Right at the bottom of the Graton descent, my rear tire blew. I mean it blew! So after a quick repair we were on our way. On this part of the ride I made a few moves I am proud of and a few rookie mistakes that I need to work on.

In all, there are 11 of us riding. After a short descent, a pace line of 8 formed and the speed rockets up. There are some strong men and women in this group so my plan is to simply hang on. I was sitting on the back when a gap start to split our group in 2. Damn! I wanted to stay with the big dogs! So at about 20 meters I realize the gap is going to stay so I come around my group and bridge up to the lead 4. I am now fried from catching them and hoping I can sit on and recover.

After the "catch" we lift the pace again. I have never been in such a fast pace line. We are flying. So my proud moments were getting around some folks on the descent and then making the bridge to the lead group. Then it was my turn on front and I was still not fully recovered. Still I take my turn and just hold the speed. When I pull off I am unable to grab the wheel as the last rider goes by. My mistakes? I stayed on the front 15-seconds too long and slowed down to much once I pulled off requiring a hard kick to grab the wheel. It was a kick I didn't have in me. Still, it was a fast ride down a beautiful stretch of road. Thanks to Coach Tim and his speed intervals.

Towards the end, I did start to run into some time constraints so at the last water stop I headed for home. Three others from the group joined me and we pace lined and hammered our way all the way back to Santa Rosa. All-in-all it was a 53 mile ride with a few serious sections thrown in for run.

In the end, I manged around 120 miles of cycling for the weekend. Between the distance and Sunday's pace, I was feeling it yesterday. But this morning I feel great and I am ready to do the whole thing all over again. I'll let you know how it goes.


1 Comment(s):

F.W. Adams said...

Not working as much as I should and came across your blog. Sounds like some good weather and some good riding!

Peace and happy trails!