I didn’t realize that Cycling Spoken Here in Cary had changed the start time for the “A Ride” from 9:30am to 8:30am, but it’s just as well because I’m not ready for that level of pummeling quite yet. We had about 15 of us turn out for the “B Ride” which included a few others like myself that didn’t read the website to get the new start time. The advertised pace was 17-18 mph. Nice, relaxed ride to test my legs, I figure, and maybe a few chances to hit it a little on a few hills and Big Woods.
Which is pretty much how it turned out. I was on the front a LOT. Not on purpose, really, but I just kind of ended up there and held a nice pace. That was until hammerlegs on my left at the front of the double paceline kept halfwheeling me until we were flying pretty good. I was not setting that pace thank you very much.
We made our way to the 2 mile Jack Bennett climb. I wondered if the anemia would cause a blow up if I picked up the pace a little. Knowing the hill starts gradual and picks up half way then doesn’t ever seem to stop after that, I started easy in the pack, on the outside line so I don’t get boxed in. The climb started to tell it’s tale as gaps form. I move around and bridge up to San Diego (he recently moved here from there). Hmm. I still feel OK. I keep going a steady, somewhat harder pace with a train of riders behind me. Or there was a couple, not sure exactly. I was certain they would come around near the top and take all the KOM points, but they didn’t so I got to be Queen for the day. It was good that my climbing legs are coming around, although I’m not there yet.
I also did well on the obligatory Big Woods rotating paceline hammerama. We had some newer guys that were still learning the ropes of the technique and some others that struggled a little to stay attached. Someone suggested that I was too strong for the others and generated some angst. Since I took well more than my share of pulls at the front, I feel like it was a fair trade.
Then I flatted on the Hwy 64 bridge over the lake by running over a rock. I’m proud to say I did most of the tube change myself but did get help. Nothing like trying to fix a flat with 4 guys looking over you watching your every move. They helped primarily to speed me along, I’m sure of it. My GPS says I was stopped for 10 minutes. Some guy was bragging earlier that it takes him about 3 minutes. “Not me,” I replied, “it takes me much longer.” Now I’ve got the data to prove the veracity of that claim. Yay me.
Those few efforts (not the flat fixing) took their toll on me– more than they usually would. Also, my legs were feeling tired after 60-some miles, about 20 miles sooner than usual. Bummer about that, but good to see progress and start to feel a little more like myself again.