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Saturday, November 10, 2007

29 seconds

When I got home from my Hour of Power ride this morning, I uploaded the data from my Edge. It seemed like a good opportunity to try out the Dot Racing function at Turns out the difference is time between the two rides was less than 30 seconds.

Dot Racing is a function on that allows you to choose two rides from your history and watch two dots representing each ride race around the route displayed on the map. While today's ride ended up being nearly the same time in the end, last week's dot lead most of the race.

Today we had about 11 riders start out. It turned out to be a pretty good group. Gary was back on the ride after a few weeks off. Tony also showed up on his Orca. Based on the first sprint of the day, he was showing up ready to rumble.

As usual Web started off with a break away. Tony and I slowly reeled him in just before the sprint to Reid School Road. We passed him and I was in the unenviable situation of riding neck and neck with Tony. We rode easily for a distance, but then he stood and went for the sprint.

In the time it took for me to react, he was about five feet in front of me. Once I decided to try to catch him. I turned up the wick, but when I saw Tony glance back and just maintain the distance I decided to give it up. He was kind enough to say, "Thanks for giving me that one." My response was, "Yeah, right!" -- like I had a choice.

At the station on Reid School Road, we pulled in to the lot and waited for the rest of the group. Tony discovered his seat clamp was messed up. We stopped to see if we could get it fixed. About five of us waited for him to finish, but the other six riders continued on the ride.

We had to chase to get back in the front group. We didn't catch them until the sprint to Darby Road. After racing with Tony and then chasing to catch the lead group, I was pretty wasted. I was thinking I wouldn't push it for the rest of the day.

Of course, by the time I reached the quarry road sprint, I was feeling better. Web and I started the climb. My plan was to take it easy and just see what opportunities presented themselves. That changed when right away Art came flying around us and he gaped the entire group by 20 yards before we had time to react.

I heard Billy say, "Who's going to go after him?" Louis answered the question just a few seconds later. He went up after Art who by this time was starting to slow a bit. I decided just to find a rhythm and allow them to come back to me.

It worked and the last 20 yards found Mike and me pacing our way toward the sprint line. I kept looking back to see what Mike would do. My plan was to sit back and let him make the move with me countering as soon as he launched. The problem was, he caught me looking back under my left arm and attacked on my right. By the time I realized what he was doing, it was too late. What I learned: if I am going to use my left to mark him, I need to make sure my bike is blocking the right lane.

I didn't try again until the Paris Mountain State Park sprint. We started the lead up to the sprint with about five riders ahead of me. I evaluated each rider and figured that I could just take it easy off the back because the only real threat was Louis and I figured I could take him on the climb.

Things were working just as planned. I went around the riders ahead of me taking Mike along with me. Mike typically doesn't contest this sprint, but there he was pulling up along side me. It was time to pay him back for the quarry road. I slowed so that Mike and I were neck and neck. I was just going to stay there until the last five feet and then attack. Mike never gave me the chance. He said, "I'm done" and I just made sure Billy didn't come flying around me at the last second.

My bladder was about to explode by this time and I went ahead to find a place to take care of that issue. I finally found a place just before the turn up Oak Leaf. Before I was finished the group went past me and I knew Oak Leaf wasn't going to work for me today. It was actually kind of nice not having the pressure and I took it easy going up climb.

I had thought I would give Nature Trail a try. There is just something about that stretch of road that just doesn't work for me. I try starting off slow. I try starting off fast. Seems no matter what I do Mike and Art don't just beat me, they up and leave me! I came in third, but it was a distant third.

Some day I'm going to beat those guys. Actually, it would be more like beating the road itself!

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