Rush Limbaugh has his . . . well, here is mine. This is my record of news stories and issues that interest me. You can also find more headlines at the site where I serve as editor: The Common Voice.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Showing some power during the Hour of Power

Before this morning's ride, I hadn't ridden since Tuesday. The time I spent on the trainer doesn't count. Unfortunately, that was all I was able to do due to other obligations that kept me busy in the evenings.

As I headed over to Sunshine Cycle Shop for the Hour of Power ride, I wondered how I would feel today. I had been told that I needed to participate in all the sprints today in preparation for my criterium race coming up in October. I wasn't so thrilled about that!

On the first sprint it is a some do it and some don't kind of thing. Webb, who always seems to breakaway about this point, was gone followed by someone I didn't know. He looked like he knew what he was doing, so I kept an eye on him.

I probably should have let them go and saved myself for some of the tougher sprints to come, but I just couldn't help myself. I came across the line first - more because they didn't want to contest it than because I was riding well. Frankly, my legs didn't feel good about that point. "It's going to be a long day," I thought to myself.

The next sprint happens on Meece Bridge Road just before you reach Darby Bridge Road. This section is a slowly rising section and the sprint typically comes out of a pace line. I was pacing with Mike and Art. Some of the better sprinters - like Billy - were behind me. I just knew one of them was going to come flying around.

I didn't want to start too soon either. Up ahead I could see a hump and on the other side the ground seemed to level out a bit. I decided to go for it after the hump. I pulled around Mike all the time expecting to hear the whir of Billy's bike coming up behind me.

Big ring and here I go. I looked between my legs and saw no shadows. Past the marker and I had taken the sprint. As I cooled down by riding back toward the group, I realized that while it was fun, it certainly didn't show anything. The big hitters were taking it easy today. They weren't even trying.

The other sprint that was fun was the one up Keller Road. It is tough because it is so long. I'm still not sure exactly where the sprint starts. It climbs and then levels off and then climbs again ending at a station near Locust Hill Road.

I broke from the group when we reached the level point. I seemed to have a little bit of a gap and thought about easing off. I glanced back beneath my arm and saw the white socks of Art spinning and gaining on me. I put a little more into it and he didn't fade, but he didn't gain either. He pushed me all the way to the line.

The rest of the ride continued pretty much the same. I won each sprint I decided to contest. On one, I have the sneaky feeling that Mike and Art were trying to get me. They both came around me with a ways to go. They were going pretty fast and I was tired from a recent sprint.

As we made a left turn with 20 yards to go, I put it in the big ring and tried to move around them on the right. I heard Art say, "Here he comes." It wasn't a sprint I was planning on contesting, but it sure was fun.

Overall, I feel pretty good. However, I have no illusions that I "won the green jersey" because I'm some hot to trot rider. Had Billy decided he wanted to sprint today (or had John or Tony been a part of the ride), I wouldn't be talking green - unless it would be the color of my face!

Still, with the way I was able to ride with the A group at Donaldson and the way I was able to out ride some folks who fall in the same Cat 5 35+ level as me, I think that I might do well in October. I just need to keep training.

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