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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

I got an F on that paper

I feel like a student who worked on his paper the night before and knows he is going to turn it in for a failing grade. Still you have to turn that paper in... well, maybe you could say the dog ate it. Can I say my cats ate the Garmin?

Ride result in the A group: got spit out the back like a sour grape on lap 2.

There, I got that out of the way.

I was looking forward to the ride because I it would be my first ride with my new Garmin Edge 705. After I have some time to play around with it, I'll be sharing more about the device here and on the Cycling Blog. It is pretty cool!

The Spinners team was going to do the B's. However, I had forgotten to check the blog and didn't realize that was the plan. Besides, I had a hankering to do the A group. So that is where I was when we rolled out for the first of five laps.

That first lap seemed slow. Oddly enough, it was my fastest lap of the night. We crossed the lap marker in 17 minutes and 26 seconds. Perhaps I was lulled into my mistake by this pace.

Lap two things turned up significantly. A group of about six riders went off the front. I recognized that there were some decent riders up there and started wondering if they might be able to get out there and stay away. I told myself to sit in and be patient.

Then we approached a slight climb and the group started getting really squirrelly. People were braking and swerving. I started getting kind of nervous. I decided I didn't want to be that far back. Moving up toward the front things smoothed out, but then I found myself nearly on the front row.

Some other strong riders started making moves across the gap. That is where I made my mistake. I reasoned that with those riders moving over there was a good chance that there could be a lasting breakaway. Looking back, I realize that it was still WAY to early for something like that to work.

I started to bridge over and tried to lessen the risk by not going full throttle. I figured that I could steadily make my move. Even so, I was holding steady in the 185 bpm range and I knew that wouldn't be good.

By the way, one of the great things about the 705 is that it is so much easier to read the screen. First of all, it is larger. Also the contrast is much better. A definite "thumbs up" on the display.

Then I got the tail of the group. However, there was no time to recover and really no group to sit in with. It was basically a single file line with me trying to hang on. There was some basic accordion action going on, but for the most part I was still working pretty hard.

When we reached the track, I eased off thinking I could just slide back into the main group and recover. Unfortunately, the pack had caught us and by the time I realized I had slipped back to far I was dropped off the back. I guess at that point I should have just suffered to bring myself back up to the group, but I didn't.

I started the third lap alone. Then I saw Scott Oglesby up ahead and I connected with him for about a half a mile. I rode on from there passing a number of riders - though I don't know if they had been dropped by the A group or what.

My goal at that point was not to get caught by the B group. Things seemed to be going pretty well until I started cramping in my right calf. Well into lap four, my calf was wanting to knot up on me something terrible. At about the same time I looked back and saw the blinking lights of the B group pace car. Oh no!

They caught me just past Kitty Hawk. It was like a brand new world. I was able to get in the group and before long I was feeling great. It was easy to move up through the group. Of course, I wouldn't be able to join the sprint (this was their last lap).

I saw Kirk and told him I would be glad to pull him up into the mix before I pulled off for them to fight it out. I don't think he understood what I said. So, I just gave it a push up toward the fire station and then moved out of the way.

The fifth lap was still left to do, so I kept on going as the B group started their cool down. It was an awful lonely last lap. I determined it was my punishment for the bone head move earlier in the evening.

It is funny, there is no doubt that I could be in the mix in the B group every time. I'm not saying I would win every one. However, I don't doubt I could be right there. I also know I can hang in the A group, but I would have to be one of the field fodder guys. I guess tonight showed where I really am -- somewhere in between the two groups.

I know what John is going to say, "I could have told you that is what you were going to do. You can do the A group, but you have to ride smart and not try to run up there with the Pro 1/2 guys." I know, I know, but I don't seem to be able to learn that lesson... what if they get away?