I must preface this by telling you that on Monday night I went weight-lifting for the first time in two or three months. As a result, I could barely walk up stairs yesterday when I mounted my bike (a bit of a problem when I live on the second floor), and you can guess as to what effect that had on my ability to ride.
But actually, once we got going, it wasn’t so bad. It was just barely snowing (flurries) when we took off, but after a couple of miles I found that I’d really overdone the winter clothing thing. I was wearing long johns over a layer of lycra and under a layer of spandex on my legs, and I had three shirts and a fleece on my top half. Yeah, slight overkill.
As we warmed up, we rode through some slightly wet roads, and I got my face sprayed and muddied, hence my photo (see below, and no, I’m not wearing really cool sunglasses in this picture). I told ’em I was just warming up for cyclocross season.
The group was small yesterday, and that meant I got to spend plenty of time in the front. We had one kid in the group who looked about 12 years old (riding a custom road bike frame–how do you like them apples?) and he sat on my draft for about 75 percent of the ride. His dad told me he brought him along to learn a thing or two about cycling group dynamics, but that the kid had participated in the national kid time trial event last year. Cool. I didn’t even know such a thing existed.
Finally, we were coming on the home stretch (the last seven miles or so) when the accepted Alpha Male cyclist of the pack, Brian broke off in a solo sprint. Jason gave chase and I pathetically coasted my way back up to the break. We rounded a few more corners together, and, after discovering that all hopes of forming a legit paceline were off, I gave a quick sprint myself–getting up to 30.5 mph. I’d maybe gained 100 yards on the group when I sat down and waited for the chasers to come, which they did. Jason and Alpha Brian zipped past me another two football fields worth of distance between us, and then I became the chaser. And it took until we got back to town to catch ’em. Pathetic.
When I got there, the conversation went something like this: