A meeting with a prospective tech person got rescheduled so another evening is free for riding.
Today was really damned hot. Since I’ve been riding frequently and have a tendency of overheating I decided to take a little different approach to today and that was: not to overextent myself. How novel, right?
So we’re out to spin, and not to push the tempo and let things fall where they do.
Even though I loathe the heat I’ll jump ahead to the summary of the ride and say, with much surprise that not only did we average 19.5mph, but we also rode for and additional hour longer than usual. I’m not sure how this happened but it’s a good sign for my upcoming century rides.
A few laps in I joined a two-wide, 5 rider pack that was having a conversational stroll at 19mph. I just hung out on the back of it for a lap or so, then eased myself to the front and out ahead at what I thought was a reasonable 21mph before the downhill section. Nobody seemed to follow. Even though I was just coasting, at the bottom of the hill the group was pretty much out of sight. So I eased up to 18mph and was back to my spin.
Another turn in and I hear some turning gears and I presume it’s part of the group catching back up. As it turns out I’m being passed by a young (early 20s) girl with a well-conditioned and smooth (almost television-commercial-quality) pony tail on a Giant with a tattoo on her back just above her cycling shorts.
Aside from being fit and attractive I think nothing of it but am curious how fast she’s going so I eased the throttle forward a bit and clocked her at 20mph. I look down at her feet and she is wearing ordinary sneakers and using flat pedals.
Just as I’m being impressed one of the guys from the pack passes us going at a very strong clip (obviously showing off) and I find myself sighing and standing up for a sprint chase, our new friend receding into the background.
I’m joined just a few moments later by much of the rest of the pack plus a riding acquaintance of mine that I had passed almost a full lap ago. He informs me that everyone had been chasing that girl for the last half-lap.
Guys are hilarious, if not completely predictable.
Over the hill I picked up the pace and threw in a little sprint at the bottom of the hill since my legs were feeling good. I pulled over at a water fountain to refill both of my water bottles (due to the heat even at a relaxed pace I was pulling water about 6 times a lap and using about twice the water than normal). I had a chance to get them both filled before anyone I recognized caught up.
I rode for another hour pretty much alone and was surprised at the performance despite the heat – apparently ratcheting your effort down that one single notch to within your capabilities makes all the difference.