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.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

What a ride!

Yesterday, Art, Billy, Tony, and myself met for a ride. We had hoped to have at least six of us, but several people had things come up and were unable to participate. Still, I knew it would be a good ride because all four of us could maintain a good pace.

We finally decided to do the Hour of Power ride. It was the best option that would 1) keep us from having to go over the mountain, and 2) would assure us that we would get back within the time limit most of us had. Once we had that decided, we mounted up and headed out.

Right off the bat I knew it was going to be a different ride. As we were going down the warehouse road that runs parallel to Rutherford, Art picked up the pace. Where on a normal HoP ride we would average 16 to 18 mph through this section, he was pulling us through over 20 mph.

That set the stage for the rest of the day. There were no bursts that come from sprints, but there was a sustained high cadence that had us blazing through the route. Coming up the toward Darby Road on Meece Bridge Road this was evident. We got in a pace line that started out with Tony pulling us up the first section from the bridge nearly to the normal sprint lanch point. Billy took over from there and pulled us up the incline to the attack zone. He was pulling us at around 18 mph. Then I moved up and once we got within the attack zone we were cruising along at 20+ mph speeds.

This was the story for most of the day. We began to notice that we were averaging 18 mph for the ride. I think it got in Art's and my heads that it would be cool to come home with that average. That would be pretty much impossible because we still had Oakleaf and Nature Trail to cover.

I was feeling good. On the quarry road I set my mind to try to maintain a 15 mph average to the top. I just settled in and looked at the highest point I could see. I didn't think about anything but reaching that point. I made it with gas still left in the tank.

Up to this point I had been riding in my big ring the entire time. I hoped to finish the day in the big ring. Why? I don't know. It was just a challenge I wanted to go for. I was kind of shaking in my boots about Oakleaf!

Turns out Oakleaf wasn't that big of a problem. I was surprised with how easily I made it up - not that it was easier than normal, but then again I don't normally climb it in the big ring.

Nature Trail was next. I thought for sure I would have to shift down on the climb. I tried to find a nice and easy cadence that would take me all the way to the top. It was like rowing a boat. Stroke, stroke, stroke... Ah, there was the top. I glanced back and saw Art coming up to pass me. I knew he was going to want to beat me. I stood and increased my speed to around 15 mph in the last 30 feet. For once I legitimately got Art on Nature Trail! Problem is, it was a "non-sprint" ride, so I guess it really doesn't count :-)

We came on in from there. We had averaged 18 mph up until we reached the Paris Mountain State Park entrance. By the time we finished the two big climbs of the day, that average had dropped to around 17.2 mph. Still, that was about twenty minutes faster than we typically ride on the Hour of Power.

What fun! I don't think it would be too smart to go that hard everytime out during thhe off season, but it sure was fun for that time. Now we'll start behaving ourselves.

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