On Saturday I went on the Wilderness Perk ride, some of the usual suspects were there, including Dan T., Dave R., Doug, Barry, Todd, Mike, and a couple of others. One lady showed up with a Trek 7100 hybrid, a big rack and trunk bag, and a lock that looked like it weighed about 8 pounds. She was expecting a no-drop social ride, and looked a little out of place. I wonder if one of the bike stores is advertising this ride - I don't think GPBC has it on their ride list.
We decided to go to Cortland, and I led the group out 14th street, feeling pretty good keeping the pace about 18-19 mph with just a very slight headwind. On 77 we eventually were reduced to a group of five - me, Dave, Doug, Barry, and Todd. The rest either didn't keep pace or had other plans for their route. I was able to stay with the group out to Cortland although the pace picked up to a pretty steady 20-21 mph. I did fall off the back once out by Princeton after taking too long of a pull (I'll never learn), but they slowed a little to wait for me - nice guys.
We rested at Cortland like usual, and then headed out to Hallam. This is where I got into trouble. Right about when I dropped back to take the picture above, we were going at a pretty steady 23 mph pace, which continued to hold steady all the way back to 77 (hills be damned).
At least, the other four held it steady. As soon as we turned east to head back to 77, I blew up. I just couldn't hold that pace for that long. Dave was nice and waited for me at the corner, and we rode back to town together (complete with two flats for Dave in the space of about 5 minutes). He had already ridden about 80 miles that day, and didn't want to paceline his way back to town (I think he kept going after I split to go home so he could get in a century).
It would be nice if I could get strong enough to stay with these guys comfortably for an entire ride, but I just don't know if that is in the cards for me. To get significantly better, I would have to:
1) Put in more miles (definitely possible)
2) Do more structured training, i.e. intervals w/a heart rate moniter (unlikely)
3) Lose weight (definitely possible, but would mean quitting eating stuff like this)
Or I could just quit worrying about it, ride for fun, try to never take a pull, and make everybody else feel faster by getting dropped on every ride :).