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, March 22, 2008

Ah, sunshine on the Sunshine ride

Without an excuse I pulled up to the Hour of Power ride this morning about ten minutes late. I just knew I was going to have to chase the group down -- and I would have deserved it! Thankfully, as I pulled into the parking lot I found the group getting ready to head out.

There were a good number of riders on hand. I saw Peter and Tony there with their Spinners jerseys on. It made me feel bad that I didn't wear mine. I didn't figure teamwork would be on the plate today :-)

The weather was nice. It was a little cool, but you could almost feel the air getting warmer as we rolled out. Of course, I started out just trying to catch my breath.

When we got to the Tanner Road sprint, I just let the guys go. I was needing to get myself back in shape and I knew that the Meece Bridge Road sprint would be coming up soon enough. Thankfully, by the time we started to line up for that push, I was feeling ready.

Peter was up front pushing the pace on what I call his "Frankenbike". Peter has some interesting bicycles. Today's was what looked like an urban tank. It was a mountain bike frame with a very aggressive geometry. The tires were kind of cross type deals. Boy, what a frame. It looked like it had rust scraped off of it and welds here and there.

So, why does that matter? Because Peter was driving us on that "tank." He and Tony were up front and I was a rider back from them as we neared the primary attack zone. Web came flying by on our left. Then things went single file and I was five back.

I knew Web wasn't going to stay up there. I also figured Bobby would go off at some point. My idea was to use him to draft until I saw a gap forming in front of him.

It happened and I went around Bobby and jumped on the wheel of Tony. Just about that time Web started dropping off. Soon, it was just us three Spinner guys up front.

Could Peter hold on with that bike? Tony moved around him and I went with Tony. I sat on his wheel and Tony moved over to keep from having to pull me all the way to the line. I pulled up beside him and contemplated just riding to the line side-by-side.

Turns out Tony was thinking the same thing, but I didn't realize it. I figured he was going to take off on me. Rather than let him get the jump, I picked up my pace and crossed the line first. Hey, I don't get many chance to beat the guy...

Then it was off to quarry road (okay, there was a good amount of riding between those two spots, but my mind was set on that next climb). All the riding I did between the end of the Meece Bridge sprint and the quarry road was aimed at getting up that hill.

We started up and my thought was to find a rhythm and maybe drop the rest with the pace. Well, Peter pushed the pace even more than me. I decided to just keep my pace with his and perhaps it would be just the two of us at the end.

Peter and I were talking and suddenly two riders went flying past us on the left. It was Tony and Bob. Oooo, this could a challenge. Peter and I picked up the pace only marginally. I still thought that it was possible Bob and Tony would come back to us after starting up that hot.

After the spot on the road where there was a short reprieve, I decided try to pull them back. They had a little too much of a gap for my comfort. We turned onto the straight and you could see the finish. I picked it up just in case they were tiring. They weren't. I could see Tony looking over his shoulder and knew he would just keep the gap.

I should have jumped on their wheels when they went by. I'll tell you though, Bob is really coming on strong. He is already a much stronger rider than he was last fall when he got here from Michigan. All this climbing is starting to show!

Sandy Flats sprint wasn't that fun. The reason was the traffic. Web went off on a flyer and Gaary and I were trying to bridge up to him. Unfortunately, traffic forced us to move over and a car got between Web and us.

Finally things cleared and Gary let me go around and I went after Web. I thought I was going to get him but once I saw him approach what I thought was the line - a warning sign - sat up. Gary came up and asked me what was up and I told him I couldn't catch him before the line. Then Gary pointed out that wasn't the line but it was at the parking lot at the intersection. Oh well.

Now it was time for Paris Mountain State Park. I thought I would try something different this time. I had found that when I went into an aero tuck I could really get some speed downhill. I moved to the front and then tucked into the downhill just before the uphill attack.

Just as I came out of my tuck to start up the climb, Peter and Bob came around me and as soon as I stood to follow, I realized I was done for. When Bob passed me I heard "swoosh, swoosh, swoosh" -- he was in his big ring and had momentum. When I stood, I heard "swish, swish, swish, swish." By the time I could shift, I would loose momentum and the big ring would kill me.

Bob and Peter whooped me. You can bet that I won't be trying that experiment again!

Tony and Art beat me up Oak Leaf. Then Art left everyone in the dust on Nature Trail. He was talking like he was going to hang back. Tony and I told him we weren't going to contest it because we were tired. Bob gave him a run, but Art wasn't to be denied.

It was a good ride. Won't be long and I'll be out there without knee warmers! I do hope that by next Saturday I'll get in more miles than I did last week.



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