When I woke up Saturday, suffering a little from the previous night's party, I looked out the window to see the trees dancing all over the place. Crap. And I had invited Mike, so I couldn't skip out. Breakfast, coffee, and throw on the kit and I hit the trail over to catch the ride.
Big group again this week, with some Ciao Baby guys and several teamFIRE members, as well as some other folks who are regulars. We headed out 14th street, into a 30 mph wind, going 19 mph. I couldn't believe the pace into the wind - Jace and Dave got to Saltillo and decided that they had had enough and went home. We waited a bit for Jace and Dave on 77 before finding out that they had turned around, so that left just me, Mike and Adrian to work into the wind.
The next 15 miles or so to Cortland was the hardest 15 mile ride I've ever done. We worked together into the wind, but it was like climbing a mountain. The wind was knocking us all over the place, and we were working hard (in a rotating paceline) to keep an 11-13 mph pace.
We finally got to Cortland, and after a short rest, rode to Hallam - finally out of the headwind. Where 11 mph was a struggle before, now we were cruising at 32 mph, with little or no air resistance. It was a breeze (sorry for the bad pun). Here is a picture of Adrian taking a picture of Mike and me just outside of Hallam.
The rest of the ride was great, until we decided to sprint to see what we could do to get a max speed (Adrian and Mike both got over 45 mph) as we were approaching Saltillo road. I was in a tuck, just passing 42 mph, when I got a tremendous stomach cramp that made me sit up fairly quickly. I was able to keep riding at a normal pace for a while, but just after Mike and I left Adrian to get on the trail to go home, the cramps hit again. The rest of the ride was a mental and physical challenge as I balanced the need to get home quickly to use the bathroom with the feeling that any real effort could result in a soiled chamois. Yuch. I did make it, but I'm sure Mike was thinking that I had completely bonked, as he was dropping me on the trail at 9 mph. We finished the ride with about 48 miles at an average of 16.6 mph.
Last night I was checking Adrian's blog, and saw that he had posted this picture from the ride, showing Mike and me suffering as we headed towards Cortland:
Now, I know that I have exactly the wrong body for cycling. Cyclists are supposed to be tall and skinny with long legs, and I don't have any of those qualities. However, when riding, I always picture myself as being skinny, fluid, and graceful on the bike. It is troubling to be presented with contradictory photographic evidence.
That pic does give me an idea for for a potential market for shorts, though - what do you think?