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.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Back in the saddle at last!

Last week was not a good one for riding. I did ride the fixie to work most days, but that certainly isn't the workout that I need to keep up with everyone. Plus, I have the Miracle Hill ride this coming weekend (100 miles) and I really need to get ready.

So, I asked my son if he would mind if I came to his game a little late and made plans to join the Sunshine Cycle Shop guys for the Hour of Power. Thing Two was just fine with that, and I headed over to the shop around 7:30 AM. I was pretty excited to ride with a group again.

About eight riders were there. John and Tony would be riding and the way John has been acting "racey" lately, I figured we would probably go out pretty fast. Actually, all of the riders would be able to hold their own, so this ride would be a workout.

Sure enough, we rolled out at a good clip. Thankfully, I was rolling right along with them. The true test would be what would happen when the sprints came along.

The first one left my fingers feeling alike rocks. I sat on Matt's wheel right until the end and then swung around him for the line. That early effort definitely made me realize that it could be a tough morning.

Even so, the next couple to sprints I managed to pull out a second place finish - I lost to Bob on Meece Bridge, and then got schooled by Tony on the quarry road. On Meece Bridge, I eased off when my heart rate hit 190. I knew I didn't have that many bullets left in my gun!

On the quarry road, I felt sorry for Art. We all ganged up on him and made him pull us halfway up the climb. I figured he was probably done when he pulled over and we went on by him. Yet, a little later, I looked over to my left and there he was. He definitely held his own under the attack.

From there I eased off a bit. Just as I finished the sprint up the quarry road, I felt like I might throw up. It had been a little while since I had given my body this much exertion!

As we neared the Paris Mountain park entrance, I figured I would give that sprint a try and call it a day. I got in behind Matt because I figured he would be powering along and at about 6 feet 4 inches and 215 pounds, he blocks wind really well! Sure enough, he moved us toward the front of the line.

Matt will tell you he isn't a climber. However, he can put out some serious wattage. My thought was he would go hard down to the base of the final climb and then ease up. Or if he did attack the incline he would fade toward the top. Nope.

Matt went in hard! It caught me flat footed and I really had to work just to hang onto his wheel. About halfway up, I nearly quit. However, I really wanted it. So, I dug in and started pulling even with him. As we made the final slight right hand turn I gave my last push and then threw the bike forward beneath me right at the line.

I heard Matt say something like, "You got me." However, I don't think so. I guess it all depends on where the line is. It was a tie in my mind. It was also one of the most fun sprints I have ever done. Matt told me afterwards that with my weight and speed, I must have been putting out over 1400 watts up the hill.

From there I took it easy - though I did climb Oak Leaf - and made it back in time to catch the last half of my son's game. Tell you what though, I wasn't much good for anything for the rest of the day. I've got to get my legs back before this weekend!



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