THURSDAY ICE CREAM RIDES RESUME.
I didn't plan to ride tonight, but a scheduling change from earlier in the week, the fact that Jan wanted to ride tonight, and absolutely perfect, but extremely hot (87 degrees) and humid, weather left me no doubt but to resume the Thursday ice cream rides.
This is where we ride 13 miles, stop for ice cream, ride back 13 miles.
The first couple of miles are leisurely, meaning about 12.5-13.5 mph. You get lulled into an easy pace; you chat; you catch up. And then? Someone starts the break away.
I warned Jan it would come. You never know when, but just be prepared. I really wanted to get some miles in but also needed to ride easy. I am doing a 15k race Saturday and don't want my legs to be toast, so I purposely held back. Not that that was hard. Riding with this group last year, even by the end of the season I was literally riding at 100% effort to keep them within 1/2 mile sighting.
And they're deceiving. Only one has ever done a triathlon. I feel like a total poser riding with these non-triathletes. They can hold their own, for sure. And yet? They are riding fairly easy; I am riding hard. Eventually they will make the break and put the hammer down, but to date I have not been able to answer that challenge. Oh sure, I feel much stronger now than last year; I even have skinnier tires. Still, they leave me in their dust. Sigh. I sometimes wonder if I will ever measure up.
So Jan and I basically bring up the rear, so far back I can't see the rest of the pack. I know the route so its not a big deal, but I am pleasantly surprised and pleased when they stop at about 7 miles and let us catch up. And then they are off iagain n a blur.
I am talking about people older than me, in the 60+ or almost 60 range. All but one quite accomplished runners. Is that the secret? Is that the source of their strength? I don't know, but I wish I could tap into it.
Jan was content with the pace, getting used to her aerobar shifters. She was making me a little skittish, weaving from time to time, getting used to the aero position and the aero shifters. I can do aero; I'm not sure I can do aero shifters.
It was hot, and the bugs were out full force. Keep your mouth shut, or you will soon have your dinner.
We made it to the ice cream shop, had a quick ice cream in a cup this time, and off we went again. My legs last year were dead by this point; tonight they felt light and quick--a major accomplishment. You can't know how hard it was last year, week after week of the grueling pace to try to keep up and sadly it never happened. This year, I am at least keeping within sighting distance.
Still, Jan and I kept a pretty constant side-by-side pace. I don't know if she could have ridden harder; I know she was considerably faster than me last year. I pushed hard enough to keep even, but didn't outsprint her until the very end.
We finished well after 8 pm. I was glad to be done. I was also covered with bugs. Ick! All the way home I felt like something was crawling on me--I'm sure some bug was taking up residence on me somewhere! Ewww.
All in all, a good ride.