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 29, 2007

The sprint fest is back

I wore leg and arm warmers for the first time today. At 6' 2" and 170 lbs, I don't have a lot of fat. It's one of the reasons why I'll never be a triathlon athlete. I sink like a rock. Plus, I get cold pretty easily.

I sensed something was up right off the bat. The heavy hitters were all sitting off the back of the lead group. Tony was there. John was there. Billy was there. Matt was there. Check. All the sprinters were on the ride.

Of course, the last few times we have ridden, there wasn't much sprinting going on. I had a feeling that today would be different. I was right.

As we neared the first sprint point, I was still feeling pretty cold and didn't want to put my 39 year old knees into that kind of hurt, so I just laid off and didn't even try. I'd save myself for later.

Once in the Stallings Road area, we rode through my sister's neighborhood. I looked over toward their house and saw my niece out on the back porch. I decided to ride over and say hello. Of course, that meant I had to chase down the group after a quick word or two.

(The U23 road race just ended - Peter Velis takes the win.)

Wouldn't you know it -- I caught the group just as we neared the next sprint point. I wanted to try for this one, but I was so tired from chasing. Still, I moved up in the group and a rider in a Michelin kit broke away. I saw Matt and John say something to each other. Matt went after the break away and John sat up. I went around to give chase. At some point along that time I decided to give it up. There was no use. The lead riders of the group behind me went tearing by.

Then it was time for the quarry sprint. This is a gradual climb that runs by a rock quarry. A group of about eight started up the incline. Art went out in front and I got caught with Billy to my left and Tony to my right. I finally worked my way onto Tony's wheel. Art slowed. Tony and I went around him. I stood and tried to drop Tony :-)

I actually did, but I think it is because he wasn't sure where the sprint line was. Sure enough, Billy came around on my left. I tried to counter, but my legs just would not go. My mind, cardio, and lungs said, "We can do it!" My legs said, "Sit down big boy. We're not going anywhere." Billy beat me.

The next sprint was a mess. Due to traffic and just the way things shook out, the sprint never really developed. We got in trouble for trying to sprint with traffic around. Honest, I looked behind and didn't see any cars before I launched.

The last sprint that I attempted was the Paris Mountain State Park entrance. I really wanted this one. We were moving along in a pace line at over 30 mph. Then something happened and the line broke. Matt had been leading off and he sat up. I moved around to follow Tony and Owen down the descent just before the final climb to the park entrance.

My momentum carried me past Tony and then I got around Owen. I knew Billy would be coming, so I just moved to the biggest ring I could stand and put all I had in it. This time my legs didn't quit. I sensed that Billy was going to try to move around my right. I moved over to take that line away from him. He adjusted and started around my left. I tried, but with about 10 feet to go, Billy just had more than I did and dusted me.

Even so, that was my favorite part of the day. At least I was there and made Billy work for it! I would never had been able to do that even a month ago. I'm really feeling stronger and stronger. I've got to keep in mind that I am building and hopefully next year I will be one of the better 40 year olds out there.

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