Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Tonight, I did not get Dropped!

A Landmark Ride!

Tonight was the first night where I did not get dropped from the group. Typically a lead group of 10-12 breaks out in front, then followed up by other groups. I usually get caught between groups and wind up pedaling my butt off trying to catch up to the group/person in front of me. Tonight everybody seemed to be in the lead group including myself. I think we got lucky at a few stop signs and were able to keep the group together.

Pulling the Group for a Change...

I was also feeling uncharacteristically strong tonight. On Burnt Swamp Road I was actually pulling the second group and helped it catch up to the lead group. I made sure to pull off the front before I expended too much energy. If I had stayed on the front for too long, I knew I would just get dropped. I found myself pulling the group again in North Attleboro. It was unfamiliar territory as normally at that point I would be along watching a group pull away from me in the front and inevitably waiting for another group to catch up to me from behind.

There must have been 20 or 30 of us racing along Rt. 120 as we approached the halfway point. It got dodgy at times with all those bikers at those speeds. At the halfway point, I checked my bike computer and it read 20.4 mph average. Typically when I get dropped and try to catch-up it reads 19.9. So at that point I knew the reason for me not getting dropped was not because everybody else was slower :-)

The Second Half

As everybody headed out for the second half (after the brief rest stop) the group thinned out and there was no longer one massive group. Ok. So I rode around the Diamond hill Reservoir with Bob. When we hit the end and into the hills he waited for some of his friends who were behind him. As much as I would have liked to have ridden in a pace line at that point, I didn't want to wait for one. I figured, when they catch me, I'll ride with them. Then something odd happened. I reeled in the 4 riders who were a quarter mile ahead of me. Then I dropped them and caught the next pace line in front of them. Then I dropped them and caught the next group of riders at the stop sign where you make a left onto Rt. 121. I stayed with that group knowing that Mount St was coming up (7% grade climb over 3 tenths of a mile).

Mount St.

Once I hit Mount St., I just focused on doing a steady climb up the hill. To my surprise I dropped everybody in this group except for Rowan on his Specialized Roubaix. I also wound up eating a bug in mid-climb.

Why Did I Ride Stronger Today?

I'm not sure. I do know that I typically peak around September. Maybe all of this years riding is kicking in. The only other thing that was different about today was that I was working from home. I went to my daughter's Kindergarten Orientation and then we went to Papa Gino's for a special treat. There I ate a half a Papa Gino's Pizza. I don't normally stuff myself at lunch, but pizza is a weakness of mine. Maybe Papa Gino's should sponsor a bike team ;-)

My Phat Ride Stats
Date Distance Time Avg Mph MAX Mph
June 12, 2007 25.24 1:23:38 18.1 36.2
June 26, 2007 25.25 1:24:51 17.9 36.3
July 10, 2007 25.20 1:21:14 18.6 35.7
July 24, 2007 25.26 1:22:17 18.4 37.9
August 7, 2007 25.26 1:22:24 18.4 35.7
August 28, 2007 25.26 1:18:35 19.3 37.2