Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Saddle Sore

Back on Monday's spin class, Grace told me the group was riding on Sunday. Texted LB to get the details.

Me: I heard you guys are doing a ride on Sunday. Mind if I tag along?
LB: Sure, here's where we're starting, 8:45am....
Me: Awesome! See you then. Flat? Climbing? Distance?
LB: Hills, flats - 56 miles
Me: [...]

At that point, I was offended. I mean, if you don't want me to come on a ride, just tell me so. Don't make up crazy distance numbers calculated to keep me away! But he was serious. 55 miles. I've been slacking, but the groups built up from the 30 mile ride I tagged along on back on Memorial Day.


I felt a lot of trepidation, but showed up for the ride. I packed my Camelback, but found out we had a rest stop at a member's house to fuel up at the 20 mile mark, so I didn't bring it.

Still can't believe I did this.

Grace didn't feel the need to challenge any of us. Diana led on at least one hill I couldn't keep up with her on. But I thought I was in contention the whole time. An odd thing happened on the Jamboree climb; We had paused for a water break at the bottom of the climb, then LB suggested I lead on Jamboree. I felt a lot more comfortable with someone else setting the pace, but I was willing to do the work for a while. LB reminded me to turn at Canyon View, and I set the pace. I started out on the initial flat at about 14 mph, keeping it sedate. As the incline started, I kept changing into easier gears but stayed in the saddle. I kept hearing Grace or Diana pulling up with me, but I'd just keep it constant and without panicking. I crested Jamboree, and turned to ask Diana or whoever it was where the turn was, and realized I was completely alone. I assume Grace and Diana both decided to stay and encourage the other riders. Again, I'm not stronger than either of them.

I led the last climb of the day as well, up Cerro Villa. That was the straw that broke the camel's back. LB and Carrie talked about bailing on the climb and stopped about a third of the way up. I decided to see whether it was do-able, but at the top of that hill, the turn was onto Summitridge, another climb! I rode back down to the group to report and we cut the ride short. The others were itching to end it, since we were over the estimated time (probably because of the climbing). Total ride time was 4h 19min. I stopped my timer during the water break at 21 miles. The heat of the day had me drinking a lot more from that point on, and I ran out of water right before the Cerro Villa climb. With so much climbing in the back half of the ride, that break felt like it was after the first third of the ride, nowhere near half way.

Grace talked me into signing up for the Cool Breeze Century ride. The Metric Century is clearly within reach, but Grace thinks I should do the 100 miles. Hmmm...


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