No play-by-play details today. I’ve been grabbing the Gu packets from on top of my microwave before every ride and due to the height I can not see the flavor before I have it in my hands. I stopped picking flavors on mood and am just going on the lottery system. Today I decided that if you’re going to eat something so unnatural, you might as well do it with the least believable flavor. I think if I were to get a single flavor pack it would be orange, though I reject artifical orange flavoring in nearly every other food product.
The weather was party cloudy and cool with very little humidity. I thought for certain that today would be a great day for a peleton, which start to form in late July when there are enough people in good shape to hold one up.
Instead, I think everyone was strolling around taking America’s “Victory Lap” after the announcement that Floyd Landis won the Tour De France. Floyd’s story is an inspiring one that I may write about again later, but the gist of it is that he had a bad crash in 2003 and developed a degenerate bone disease in his hip which malformed the head of his femur. He couldn’t afford to stop cycling and this was his big chance to win the ‘Tour with Lance Armstrong (7-time champion) retired and the top five riders suspended before the race began. He trained in a particular way to have his bone actually scratch a groove in his pelvis to help him ride. Doctors were unsure it would hold up to the rigors of the tour. He almost lost the race a few stages from the end but pulled through in dramatic fashion. He is only the 3rd American to win the Tour De France so it’s a big day for the US.
So I rode mostly alone for an hour and a half. The two noteworthy evens were another favorite rider of mine who I’ll call Mr. Triathalete because of his tuck handlebars. Of course he could also be Mr. Time Trial or Mr. I-just-like-to-have-aerodynamic-bars-on-my-bike. I want to say Mr. Triathalon because of the sleevless jersey and extra water bottle cages beneath his seat.
He and I have crossed paths a few times. Generally he will take off like a madman on the flats and gain an enormous lead on me and I’ll make it all up on the hill and more.
While I’m sure he could just be training hard for a triathalon and not be concerned at all about me, he always seems to be looking over his shoulder in a half-paranoid kind of way like “where is he?!?”. Most of the time I’m just watching from a distance, making sure he doesn’t get completely out of sight. I told myself that some day I should give him a run for the money.
I guess I haven’t been eating enough fruit lately as I had a seated cap of 21mph. Anything over that locked both of my calves so I guess it’s probably a good thing that no big groups did come along. For some reason I could do the occasional standing sprint so I did and concentrated on my arms and quads.
At the end of my ride today I tried a nice long sprint from the base of the hill all the way across the bottom of the park. I was in the drops and maintaining 28mph with a nice fluid motion, arms, legs, and lungs all in sync. It felt good, kind of like when I was running Track & Field.
Tonight I’m going to sign up for the Ramapo Rally, a 100-mile ride through the mountains of Northern NJ and Southern NY. Last year it ended up being 120 due to poorly marked roads, with 64 of the miles uphill, sometimes at a grade of 7-14%. I’m sure if I had taken Brooklyn Velo Force up on some rides I’d have people to go with, but for now I’ll be starting alone with hundreds of strangers. Fine by me as it’s a chance to meet some new, good people.