20 April, 2008

80 miles - 4 days

There are cyclists that do a century (100 mile ride) each weekend. In Louisville (and other places) the call themselves the "Mad Dogs".

If I hadn't taken both Thursday and Friday off, I could've had 100 miles for the week. I'd love to ride 50 or 100 miles in a day on a fairly regular basis. But I also want to work on speed. Wondering how I do both. Hmmm, talking to an experienced cyclist might help.

The temps were still in low 50s when we got started and finally reached los 60s at the end with overcast skies. The sun poked out twice briefly towards the end of the ride. I got to today's ride in plenty of time. There was another on the list that I almost did instead. Glad I changed my mind. This is the same group of people from 2 Sunday's ago. I'd say we had about 50 riders today. Nice group, they are very friendly. Several came up and welcomed me back. Most wore legging and jackets or arm and leg warmers. I forgot my long-sleeved jersey and leggings. I wore a lightweight long-sleeved t-shirt over a short sleeved tee and my bike shorts. I asked A.B. if he was doing the long ride. He said yes and he would sweep it. That means he won't let anyone get left behind. Today's ride didn't have cue sheets. I didn't need one. I was feeling pretty good. I stayed well ahead of A.B. and his group, but well behind the lead group.

We got to River Road and there were about 8 of us, fairly close to each other. Then there were 4 of us in front and we left the others. I was in back, but doing well keeping my tire about 4 inches off of Steve's rear. I'm learning. We were going about 21 MPH for a few miles. Felt pretty good, but I was getting a little warm. Steve says that he just can't maintain that pace. About the time I hear him and look ahead, the other two were already 500 yards away and gaining. We maintained 18 to 18.5 the remainder of River Road. I'm glad we backed off a bit. The hill we hit (it's not steep and I'm a wimp) in the neighborhood off of Rivery Rd kicks my butt. I worked to stay on the big ring until then. I was thankful I have a granny gear again. Though, I only used it for the last 500 yards or so.

We road 23.5 miles in just under an hour and a half. I felt great at the end. Once the bike was on the car, I stripped off my long-sleeved tee. I was fairly soaked underneath.

This past week was a good one. The weekend marked my Dad's death 8 years ago. I've spent some time reflecting. Now it's time to look forward to a great week ahead. Sunny skies, good rides, and plenty of work to do. :-)

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