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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Deciding to go for the shorter ride

I had considered riding my bike up to Sky Top apple orchard this morning. It would have been about at 45 mile ride. Last night I made up my mind to do the Sunshine ride this morning and ride my Vespa up to the orchard along the same route I had mapped out for the bike.

Well, if you want to find out how the Vespa ride went, you can go over to Vespatude to read about that adventure. Here, I'll just make some comments about my morning ride.

I almost didn't go. It felt so good to just lay there in bed and since I have started riding, I don't get any days to sleep in. Discipline won out. I got out bed with just 30 minutes to eat and get ready. I made it.

We did the normal ride for most of the way. I was able to hand with the top set of riders. The way things work is that we go out as a group. Along the way there are a number of pretty tough climbs.

As the group nears the climb, some of the riders will sprint to see who will get to the top first. In most cases, I am able to be the fifth or sixth guy over. Now, I'm not saying that I am close to the guys in front of me :-) I hang with them for as long as I can, but invariably, I get dropped and I'll be a number of yards behind. Still, I'm improving and maybe someday I'll be right up there with them.

Then I did the a climb I had never done before. Wow. It was tough! First, you climb a pretty steep grade for about 40 yards on Oakleaf Rd. You then have a short break as you set up for a new climb of about 100 yards on Woodhaven Dr. I was walking it up in my smallest rings and thought I was about to die.

This didn't help my average at all. I ended up riding for about 31 miles. I averaged an even 15 mph. That shows how slow I was going climbing because the rest of the time we were running over 20 mph. We were moving right along most of the time. My top speed for the ride was 43 mph.

I need to get back on the bike more this week. I only had around 50 miles for the week. That is down from around 150 per week before the metric century.


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