Sunday, July 6, 2008

First Pack Ride

Still wondering where you people find the time to post everyday or even every other day or even every third day! Not going to go back through the weeks, don't have time. Let's just say I have been training consistently getting ready to start my 12 week plan starting tomorrow for my "A" race for the year, HOLY Toledo.

Baton Rouge Tri group had a group ride scheduled for today, so Word, Reba and I all rode up together. Got to the starhill fire station in St. Francisville at 7:00 am, and there were about 35-40 bikers, roadies and tri peeps, getting ready to roll. It was supposed to be about a 3-3.5 hour ride. Never having ridden with more than 3 people, I was a bit nervous, but ready to hit it hard. We got ready quickly since everyone was ready to roll.

Started out slow (17-18) for about the first 20 minutes. Then they got down to business. With that many people, there were two "pacelines" and some stragglers moving around. Ended up dropping around 8-10 people after about the first 15 minutes of picking it up (20-22). Reba wasn't feeling the group thing, so Ed hung back with her, while I went ahead with the front group. I hung with them until about the 1 hour point at which time we hit the first big hill of the day. They had been taking it "easy" by staying around 20-24 on the flats, coasting the downhills and only climbing at around 17-18. Well, we got to the first big hill and they decide to hammer it up the sucker at around 19-20. I couldn't hang and dropped off the back. Was feeling kind of lethargic, so I hit a gel. Should have done that earlier. Rode the next 30 minutes by myself.

It was an out and back, so I caught up to the pack at the turnaround. Had a short 5 minute break and it was off again. By this time, I had taken a second gel and was feeling pretty good. The first 5 mile section after the turnaround was pretty much all downhill with some slight rollers thrown in. It was a blast. We stayed in the groove and rode 25-27 through most of that five mile section. Ended up hangign with them for about the next 40 minutes until we got to the Bluffs on Thompson Creek. I was fourth or fifth back in a group of about 15-20 at this point. The three lead guys just take off on this slightly downhill piece of the road. I decide to see if I can hang. We are going about 30-32 on a slight downhill and I hung for about 1.5 minutes. Having basically blown it out, I can't hang on and fall off the back. Two of the tri guys slow down to take a side paved trail off of the road. They talk me into it, actually it was either that or ride alone, and it was awesome. It was this little 5k asphalt paved trail with these huge steep drops. It was about 8-10 feet wide through the woods with these quick little turns and drops. The first mile was climbing and then you got to the fun part. Was only hitting 22-24 on the downhills, but since it was so closed in, it felt like 30.

After that, it was only about 3-4 miles back to the car. Ended up right at 50 miles in 2:30. 20 mph pace is not too shabby in all of those hills for 50 miles. Even though most of it was pack riding, it still felt good. I really enjoyed the pack ride. I have a road bike with aero bars so that is maybe why I felt so comfortable, but I was never worried once the ride started. I also formerly raced motocross, so riding in close proximity to other people isn't that new to me. Matter of fact, it made the ride go by that much faster being so focused on what everyone was doing around you. Definitely going to do it again as soon as I get a chance.

Swimming and weights for tomorrow. Skipping my long run tonight.

1 comment:

Ryan said...

I have to set an alarm on my bike when riding with a group to remember to eat. I get so into riding, the next thing I know I am struggling because I am running out of calories.

Gotta love the speed though, right?

I ride with a group of roadies on Wed mornings, we avg 30mph. It is a hold on and shut up kind of ride, but a blast!