Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Back in the Saddle

This year my riding season started late. Through a combination of weather and life factors I was unable to get the bicycle back on the road until the 16th of March. My original intent was to restart my Monday evening Silver Comet rides the day after we changed back to daylight savings time (the 12th) but the weather had other plans. After an initial Friday morning ride on the 16th I got out again on the 17th and was able to do my first Monday evening ride on the 19th. 3 out of 4 days riding was a good way to jumpstart the season.

Yesterday I hit the Silver Comet again after work, but this time with a riding buddy. Rather than start at the top of the hill (mile marker -1) we took the extra time to drive down to Mavell Road and began at the official starting point. It was a beautiful day to ride and we had a great workout. We rode nonstop for 15 miles, just past the Hiram trailhead to a gazebo next to an empty parking lot in a disused park. There we rested for a bit and ate orange wedges while catching up on hydration.

For the first half of our ride we were side-by-side so that we could converse. We rode an easy pace so that we could enjoy the conversations. After the halfway point we continued side-by-side. 5 miles later I saw someone riding up behind us and decided that the polite thing to do would be to get behind my buddy to give some room to the passing cyclist. But she never did pass. And we kept riding in a 2-man paceline. My buddy went down in to "the drops", kicked it up a notch and we started riding a faster pace. After one of the road crossings I took over and kept the speed up. It's amazing how much faster you can go in a line than side-by-side. Our original intent was to make room for someone to pass but we ended up having so much fun that we just stayed that way for the rest of the ride. When I peeled off to let my buddy take over I discovered that another rider had latched on to us: we were now a paceline of three. Soon our surprise guest took over and we fell in behind him. As we got closer to the end, the trail became more crowded with joggers, walkers, and other types of users so we had to slow down. But for awhile we were cruising at 22 mph. Our average over 30 miles was 16.3.

These Monday night rides will become a regular part of my schedule, and now I actually look forward to Mondays.

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