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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Got a loooong way to go

I mentioned that I have been pretty busy. Because of that -- and the wild weather yesterday -- I have not been able to ride the bike. With the race coming up on Saturday this was a concern for me.

I rushed home after work and jumped on the bike. The idea was to do about a 20 mile ride with a good amount of pushing. I did the route the Sunshine guys were doing Thursday nights last season.

The route takes you along the base of Paris Mountain and then over Altamont Road. I was moving along with a high cadence through the first portion of this. The idea was to push pretty hard and then do a moderate effort over the mountain.

Just as I was coming up Buncombe to turn for the climb I caught a glimpse of a rider starting up. I picked up my pace to catch him. As I drew closer I noticed that it was actually three guys. The yellow kit I knew belonged to Strad. There was Rodney and another rider I did not know.

Oh boy. If I was going up with them, it certainly wasn't going to be a moderate effort! I was already huffing and puffing from catching the guys. I had to recover fast if I hoped to stay with them.

Rodney introduced me to Aaron and we started up. Now, Rodney is a Pro 1/2 rider. Strad is a Cat. 4 (though he has the points to be Cat. 3). Aaron, I'm guessing, was at least Cat. 4... perhaps Cat. 3.

It was embarrassing. I was trying to get oxygen while those guys were just humming along carrying on casual conversation. They didn't seem to be affected at all.

We passed halfway. I was with them. We got into the last two-fifths of the climb and I started to struggle. By the time we reached The Wall. I couldn't see them around the turn.

Man that last stretch seemed to take forever. I crossed the line as the other riders were waiting for me. 13 minutes and 45 seconds was my time. I'm guessing they made it in under 13.

They probably thought I was about to die. At least when I looked at them they were sweating! As we talked, I learned I had just caught them at the end of their repeats! That was their fourth time to climb the road.

Rodney left us to go home down the back side of the mountain and the other three of us had a fun ride down the other side. I didn't have any trouble keeping up with them then. :-)

I have a way to go having that type of conditioning.



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