Well, something seems to be working, maybe the weight workouts, maybe the Optygen, maybe the lack of nicotine as I am now over a week clean. Before I get into the rides, Big Jim, you're strong and you know it, you have good skills in the pack, come to the Roubaix, I think you'll be pleased with your result and I think you will understand why I like it so much.
Okay, Saturdays ride, it was a cool 33 degrees at 8 am, it was a shop ride, but a hilly ride which I needed and the guys who worked there said they were going to take it easy, they pointed out a guy on a Scott Addict and said if anyone wants to go longer or fast he's the one to mark. So we started out sedate, small group of around 12 but what you gonna do. We cruised for about 15 minutes to the first hill and one guy was pulling at around 18 to 19 but seemed to be faltering up this hill so I Came around and said hop on as I put it to just over 20 up the remaining part of the hill, I satyed on the front for a few minutes and let Scott rider pull through, what? we were down to 4 riders at this point and decided to keep it rolling along, we take turns pulling through and again it seems who ever is one the front at the beginning of a climb falter so I would pull through, 15 miles in and I note we had dropped another rider so I asked Scott dude if we should sit up to let the guy back on and he said sure. Once the guy got back on I put the hammer down, well not really,, hard but manageable. As we crested, I looked back and realized we had dropped Scott dude and the other guy so it was just the two of us. We hit a steep 11 percenter and I did not want to get out of the big ring and while trying to find a lower gear, I popped the derailuer cable so ouch, now I am in the 11 with only the two front chainrings to choose from. Next thing you know, I am riding off the front on each climb as I play fixie rider! About that time we run back into the rest of the riders as they took as shorter loop, I pull them around for a while and finally break everyone but Scott Dude and one other, we finish it up and I feel good!
Sunday arises with me with a hangover from a party, a little leg tired but it is warm outside, I had fixed (well thought I had but found out I could not go into the three smallest cogs) my rear derailuer. The ride starts out sedate and there must have been 150 people out due to the warm weather. To the first break it was comapratively easy with a few accellerations. After that, I was having trouble due to a lack of gears, we head up the first climb (kom) and the subsequent turn and sprint, I note after the climb I am fine heart rate and leg wise but am in trouble as I am spun out. We make the rurn and I am turning what has to be 140 to 160 rpms to stay on and in. Based on this I decided to do the short ride and soon found myself in 3rd wheel on a slight rise into the wind and was hurting pretty bad. We make the turn with me thinking maybe I went to too hard yesterday. We start on the long drag back (about 18 miles) and it goes crazy, alot of peopel keep attacking, then would get pulled in , kinda like a crit, as soon as the attackers were pulled in another would go. This would not be a problem, but since I was trying to hide, I was in the yo yo section, having to jump and sprint to close gaps, over and over I am spinning the gears I do have out, covering break after break. After one, I find myself not being able to hide and do a few turns through the front, we're whittling the pack down and people are going off the back like a bran muffin and a cup of prune juice! I am fussing cause every time I would pull through it seemed like I am on an uphill section, people won't pull through and your forced to close the gap. I keep wondering when I am going to fall off the back and considered it, but each time I find new legs, I chck out the garmin on my pull through to make sure I maintain a steady pace and we are pulling through into the wind on risers and 26 and 27, again gaps open and I am spinning out like a madman to get up to 31 and 32 mph to close gaps. I finish with the big boys, knowing I did not hide and that I certainly did my share of work with out a full set of gears. It felt like I had just finished a crit! I would like to start going for the sprints but two issues. First off, in the drops but out of the saddle, the Somec is twitchy and I have trouble holding a line so I need more practice, second, I think right now, for the next month, fitness wise, I am gaining more by working on the front. It takes a huge amount of muscular endurance and to sit up there and pull through and not alot of people do it for long, then fade back in the pack to hide, so I think these efforts, especially having to close gaps not long after having pulled through are great fitness raisers. Yesterdays climbs gave me confidence, today's ability to suffer and then still spin up to a crazy cadence to close gaps when others are not willing and not blow sky high are good signs of where I am heading! Oh, did I mention that I only took one day off the bike this week? And that Friday's ride albiet only an hour long was pretty darn fast and hard and hilly? What do ya'll think? How about a little feedback?