Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Phat Tuesday Ride: Close Calls and Chickens(?)

Phat Hiatus

Prior to last night, May 6th was my most recent Phat Tuesday ride. Here's the breakdown of the Hiatus:

  • May 13th: Recovering from a Stomach virus/bug that I caught from my daughters
  • May 20th: I have a friend vsiting from out of town. I told him to bring his bike. He almost did, but didn't. We went to Chili's instead and talked like men should talk when the wives aren't around :-)
  • May 27th: Worked late fixing defects on an upcoming release.

Close Call

At about mile 2.25 on the first significant climb on Vine St, a bunch of us were, well, bunched up. Somebody next to me, (I suck at names), lost control of their bike when their shoe unclipped from their pedal as they stood up to climb. The front wheel went wobbly and people quickly gave him as much room as they could. right about when he regained, oh, say, 90-95% of his control back, he ever so slightly brushed up against me. I saw it coming, but there was nowhere for me to go. So instead of doing a panic move I just held my position and stayed straight. Better for him to hit me when I'm in control of my bike than hit me when I am in the middle of my own awkward avoidance maneuver. (Or hit someone else while trying not to get hit myself...) It worked out.


Then, about 2 miles after the above incident, the group I was in came upon some chickens crossing in front of us on Burnt Swamp Road. They were odd looking chickens though. Some people said they were Turkey Hens. I thought they looked more like a Pheasant, but they were lacking a long tail. I've searched some chicken sights, and the closest thing I found was a Wyandotte Chicken. But I don't think that is what we came across. Anyway, if you want to see the chicken for yourself then I imagine you can see them at Adam's Farm in Cumberland, RI during pumpkin picking season.

Strong First Half

I was pleasantly surprised to find myself hanging in there with a large group of riders. It is definitely much easier to ride with a similar paced group than to try and not get dropped from the lead group. I believe we rolled into the halfway rest stop averaging somewhere just south of 20 mph.

Don't Get Behind a Tall Guy...

After the rest stop I got behind a tall guy with long legs. I quickly decided to "not" try and keep up with him. He simply "just kept going forward" while I could feel myself struggling to hang on.

Mount St. Climb

I eventually reconnected with a group and hung with them until Mount St. Mount St. is a short, steep climb and it is every man and women for themself at that point. Some people take off and try to start strong up that climb, only to peter out at the top. Some others fly up the hill and are never seen again. Bastards!

Then there are people like me and Ed, who just focus on maintaining a slow, steady, and deliberate pace. During this climb I also focus on taking long, deep breaths. (Sometimes when one is pushing oneself, one forgets to breath.) I think the breathing helped. Not sure exactly how, but as I approached the top of the climb, I was passing about 70% of the people who passed me and I was actually had enough energy to accelerate past some as the grade leveled out. It was nice to have energy left over at the top of that climb.

A Good Ride

It was a good ride, despite the close call and the chickens. Looking forward to next Tuesday...


Anonymous said...

For some reason the idea of chickens crossing the road is cracking me up.
Nice climbing technique, btw. Very effective on long hills.