Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Slow Spokes

Now that I have completed a decent half marathon, switching gears back to cycling. I am ready to get my cycling times back to something respectable.

On Thursday night, I went on a group ride with my "home" team, Slow Spokes. It was fun to get back out with the group again. Originally this year my goal was to have Linda with me for the Slow Spokes rides. I want to get her as excited about cycling as I am but this week she was not able to ride so I was solo. I decided to go with the fast group and try not be left too far behind.

We departed 6 pm from MacGregor Village in Cary. Spoke with a couple of old friends while starting the ride. Just causual conversation since the ride was just beginning. Rode through the Autopark out to Apex. Had a couple of people asking about Ride for Cure and also Ture De Cure. These are two rides for Diabetes research. So that was great. I am still hoping to recruit riders for Death Valley.

Once we reach Apex Peakway, the real ride begins. We break into three groups. A fast group, medium group and causal group. I go with the first group. My plan was to just hang on and be pulled along. As this part of the ride commenced, I was right on track. We turned left on Tingen and then Brian (the best rider in the group) takes off. He pulls for the first 5 miles out. At this point we are moving. Fortunately/Unfortunately, I am third in line and just staying in the slipstream of the guy in front of me. Then Brian moves out and allows the next guy to pull. The pace slows a bit and I am still just enjoying the ride. No worries yet.

Once we get to the hills, all pace lines are breakdown. The more adventurious of the group just allows gravity to take hold and fly down hill. The more cautious of us are holding our brakes and hoping not to roll over. Then going back up hill we catch back up and form back up again.  It is awesome. 

We get to the turn around point and everyone take a moment catches their breath and get ready for the return trip.  We wait for a couple of minutes for the one who dropped of the back to catch up, get a drink and also prepare themselves for the return trip. 

Going back is always so much fun.  It fun because you know the pain is almost over and also you want to ensure that you are not left now.  The same basic rules apply going back.  We take the hills aggressively and reform after it levels off and prepare for the next assault.  Once past the major hills we try to stay in line.  We take turns pulling and try to stay fresh. 

This can be a double edged sword as I found out this week.  I was pulling away and was almost to the point of slowing progress and decide to drop back and let some one else pull a little while.  Well when you fall out of line you "should" go to the back and allow everything to recycle.  Unfortunately some of the guys we barely hanging on and didn't tell me until I was behind them that they were not trying to stay with the group any longer.  Augh.  Now I have to past them and try to catch up with the next person.  I do this and he is also dropping back.  OMG this is killing me.  Now I am falling further behind the lead group and a group moves much faster than an individual. So I am pumping hard to try to catch up and I can only watch as they pull away from me.  I am working as hard as I can and not gaining at all.  But I do not know the word quit so I continue.   Finally once we get back in town, I catch them at a light.  The bad part is I know I would not have caught them without the help of the light.  Which for me sucks to admit.  But I was able to cruise back to the start finish point. Overall it was a great ride. 

Looking forward to riding again this week.  Need to get back into riding shape.

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