several months' ago i had been doing a smaller club ride that left from a local bike shop on thursdays, but it started to get crazy fast as the testosterone ramped up and the ride turned into a slight notch below another tuesday night worlds', (a.k.a. the weekly
mission accomplished! i totally got my ass handed to me. the ride was fast. just about as shit crazy fast as i knew it would be. now, as fast and intimidating as this ride is, i really like it - there are maybe 20 riders as opposed to the masses on the other ride and a majority of the 20 are my teammates and friends with the occassional tri geek thrown in (and i am referring to two guys in particular from the ride - neither of whom i have ever seen.) now, let me take a quick moment to gripe about these two tri geeks in particular - not any of my friends who do tris (disclaimer: i am sure the following gripe will alienate some of my readers, not to mention friends so my apologies - but its my blog, and these dudes were nuts). now i know all of the crazy wind- cheating acoutrements of your tri bike serve a very specific purpose that shave nano-seconds off your time - but dude, its a club ride. not a time trial. so please -don't ride a club ride in your aerobars; and do you really need that big huge sippy cup attached to your handlebars with the straw up to there? it doesn't look very aero to me anyway. like i said, its a club ride. 25 miles. can't you just reach down and grab a bottle out of your water cage? leave the sippy cup home. ok ok, maybe he needed to practice sipping from that honkin' cup while on the roll in his bars to make sure he could do it on some kabillion mile ride he had coming up - but dood, do that on your own time. you're wigging me out. and oh.my.god. are you wearing headphones? aerobars, big sippy cups and headphones freak me out as much as basketball shorts and toe cages on a club ride.
clearly the two tri guys wigged me out on yesterday's ride. i couldn't get away from them and they were driving me nuts. i finally did get away and mumbled something to my husband about them being in the aerobars through the park - he told me not to worry, they wouldn't be with us long. but that's what i was worried about; i knew i wouldn't be with "us" long either. and figured i'd be stuck with tri guys who were all over the place in their damn bars. at least they provided amazing incentive to stay way the hell up front as long as possible. and if i got thirsty, and i was too lazy to reach down for my water bottle, maybe they could stretch that foot long straw over my way so i could have a sip.
i did in fact manage to stay up towards the front for way longer than i expected. it was hard as hell and i could barely close the slightest gap - i could have kissed the guy who moved in and bridged it enough so i could hang on his wheel. but my ride with the group was over when we hit a series of slight downhill turns. keywords: downhills and turns. my biggest weaknesses. but the fact that i made it to the series of downhill turns and didn't get dropped a few miles earlier after the hairpin turn in the park was huge progress. now, the suffering really began as i tried to chase back onto the group. i kept thinking i could get them. i'll get them on that hill. i'll get them at that light. i was momentarily thrilled when i saw the group ahead at the light before turning onto river road - figured i was totally back in the game! but the light turned before i got there, i watched them all turn, one beautiful moving mass and i made a stupid move in the name of keeping up with the group, one that gives us all a bad name when i turned just as the light turned red. i never did catch them but was elated because geeky tri guy was back at the light making some sort of adjustments - perhaps to his sippy cup. my elation was short lived however, when just a few miles down the road tri geek blew by me sipping on his stoopid straw. alright, truth be told he wasn't sipping on damn straw, but he may as well have been. karma can be such a bitch.
after my solo suffer-fest that was river road in a headwind and the insult of being passed by a guy with a monstrous sippy cup attached to his bike, i see a teammate waiting for the group at the turn around - i was desperate to get on a wheel and rest - so i pulled a u-turn and stopped to wait with him -- we started up again just after the first fast group and waited to get swallowed up by the others. there was no big group - it had all been split up into bits and pieces, but each friend or teammate that passed me shouted get on my wheel!, and as much as i tried, i just couldn't stay there. even though they were. right. there. so. maddeningly close. i was completley cooked. stick a fork in me.
cooked as i was - i was still delusional enough to think i could still catch someone once we turned off river road onto the slight gradual hill where people usually rest & i can start to pick them off. but it was not to be yesterday. could have been my bad karma. its okay though. a while back, i would have berated myself for having fallen off the back, but i knew what the ride was going to be and i am thrilled i hung on as long as i did - even got kudos from the bike coach. i have added this particular club ride to my weekly ride roster - will try to hang on longer and longer each week. between team cross practices on tuesdays and the thursday road ride, (and believe it or not, i have added running back into the mix) my ass will get kicked plenty. and i should be ready for the last road race of my first ever bike racing season, and ready for my first ever 'cross season. let the ass kickings begin.