bikingandbaking: photo of my road bike in front of a statue of an apple (baldwin monument)
[personal profile] bikingandbaking
Worry: unnecessary. We had a beautiful day for the NER 107k, a great crowd (evidently registration skyrocketed at the last minute when the weather forecasts cleared up), and the course was its usual hilly self.

I dithered some more after my previous post about riding to the start vs driving, and decided that if there was any way I'd be ready for the 200k, I needed to ride. So I did. Up at too-early-o'clock, breakfast 1 at home, and I was off on my way. In Lexington another rider passed me, and then slowed up to ask if I was headed to the ride; we had a nice chat on the way there. Passed two more people stopped by the side of the road but clearly heading that way, and then tons of people were there when I arrived at ~7:40 -- lots of people I knew, lots I didn't, and the now-familiar feeling of "ack how do I answer that" when people innocently ask me how I've been. "Undertrained", I answer, mostly. And then we're off.

I let the packs I can usually hang onto for a while go; not this time. I don't even know that I could have burned a lot of matches to keep up with them at all, but I'm not going to try. So a few miles down the road, I'm surprised to find I've acquired a small posse. A little three-person group, with two other riders with similar climbing abilities. A woman I met on the Honey 100 last year (whose SO was out on the course far enough ahead we didn't spot him on the out-and-back section), and a guy I hadn't met before, whose name I did not commit to memory, but who kept us entertained by identifying birdsong. Neither had done the ride before, so I got to impart wisdom of where the worst hills were. We weren't making terribly fast time, but we weren't in any danger of missing control times, and while a group always stops more (you have to stop whenever *anyone* needs to), none of us wanted to dilly-dally either. We chatted and spun and the miles flew by.

It was fun seeing the sport through new eyes -- my compatriots were impressed at how friendly everyone was, waving us upwards while they cruised down the out-and-back section to Stirling. (I was reminded of this past summers' PBP first-finisher, who soloed off the front before Brest and did the entire return on his own; 6000 people waving at him since he was the only one going the other way.) We got going before a bunch of people who'd arrived before us, and got to play yo-yo with a big group on the way back, adding to the party-bus feel of the whole ride. One of them was the rider who did his first 200k at my overnight ride last year; I was thrilled to see him back again, and we chatted for a bit before he dropped me on a hill. And I tried to convince anyone who would listen to come back for the 200k in three weeks.

I felt great, if slow, until about the same time as we stopped at the Harvard General Store for a snack and to use the facilities; my legs were done having any extra energy at that point. Which actually wasn't far off schedule for this early in the season; it was just that my "fast speed" and my "slow speed" were both slower than usual. My friends pulled ahead of me on the final hill, but we rejoined after the Stow descent, which I was glad I was comfortable taking at speed; I wasn't sure how nervy I was going to be on descents after the crash a month ago, and I love that descent. Didn't PR it, but that's primarily because I wasn't hammering the slightly gentler sections, I was just letting gravity do all the work.

Bird-dude did start pulling away from our little group, but just as he did, my other companions' SO showed up to see how she was doing. So he pulled us along for a bit, until I started pulling away from them; I felt kind of bad -- we'd spent the whole ride together and finishing together would be fun, but my neck was starting to cramp and I wanted to get off the bike for a bit, and the finish would be the place to do so. All the stoplights through Concord seemed to be on Team Finish Together, though, so we stayed within sight of each other, if not in an actual pack.

My finish time was 6:17ish, which is slower than even my first year doing this ride, but that's OK. It was perhaps the most *fun* I've had on it, too. I'm not really ready for the 200k, but I'll take my own advice: if you're smiling at the finish, do the next ride. I plan to, and I plan on dithering over driving to the start again (prediction: I will dither dither dither and then ride out again.)

(I have, however, refrained from taking the other piece of advice I doled out, which was that back-to-back rides are great training; while my legs feel great today (yay!), my butt is really quite sore, and my neck has cramped up. Which is half being an overstressed software engineer and half lack of core strength. I'll ride tomorrow, on the spin bike as it's supposed to rain and I hate rainy commutes; I don't mind rainy brevets but I hate rush hour traffic in bad weather.)

Profile

bikingandbaking: photo of my road bike with a tag reading "51" on it (Default)
recipes and ride reports

June 2017

S M T W T F S
    123
45678910
1112131415 1617
18192021222324
2526272829 30 

Page Summary

Style Credit

Page generated Aug. 24th, 2017 05:01 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios