Today was my initiation to the SDBC saturday ride. They have an "A" ride, a "B" ride and D(elopment) 1-5. There were a $h!tton of people. On my ride yesterday, a guy told me to do the "A" ride. The guy at the bike shop said to do the "B" ride. I was chatting with some rider at the start and he said the A's are fast. I'm wearing my black wool Cyclonaut Jersey and it is starting to get warm. Some absolutely drop dead gorgeous woman was sporting a similar look. Black wool, white stripe, i don't know what it said on her jersey, i didn't want to stare. As she lined up for the D's (I think) she put on these shades that reminded me of a mid-80's Tour De France, totally retro. I had no shades.
okay, the A's line up and there are about 100 people. They take off... Men, women, old and young. Some guys with a little pounch, but most looking fit. I look over at the B's... About 15 people. I go after the A's and join in figuring i can hide. once out of the city, it is fast and my HR is soaring. This is like a race as it is pretty much strung out. At about 12 miles, we hit this climb and I'm near the back. Bad news. My climbing is sucking and i am in the back. we get to the top and the group in front of me goes right. I do too and my garmin says i am off track. i stop for a second and proceed. crap. i should have stayed with them cuz they are jamming it. i am solo, about 20 seconds behind them for a long time. then i start to tire and some dude pulls by me. he almost drops me on a climb, but your hero grits his teeth. Then i see on the garmin that we are joining up with the course. later reviewing the data, if i had followed the garmin, i would have actually cut a corner and made up some time. i catch some guys from team SLOW STEP. they are riding at a moderate pace when some dude comes up from behind and slams it the slow step guys keep jamming. we start catching people in front of us and the group grows. Slammer yells at me for leaving a gap and tells me to sit at the back. Okay, no problem tow my @$$. We are on a twisty downhill that the road surface isn't too great and i'm with a bunch of guys i do not know. i am not going to be up someone's @$$. Unless SHE is really hot. They continue to slam and we slow for a little bit and i'm chatting with a guy from SlowStep (the jersey's look like Quick Step, really cool). I'm like, man, doesn't this let up? I am hurting! He laughs and says something about "Hurt feels good". Yah, when I'm in shape and laying the hurt, not sucking wheel and praying for the end. We come around a corner and lo and behold, the lead group is there. They go fast for a mile or two, then we slow. The group swells and familiar faces are back. Then, we are on a flat and some guys are moving up. I know the area, so i know they are not jockeying for a hill. Someone talks about a leadout. Then it goes up to 30mph with guys/girls (the girls are good out here) going bassackwards. I'm just moving through the field. I can hang on the flats. Then i see guys out of the saddle sprinting. Hmmmmm. They sit up. Some of us roll past them and the pace slows. There was a sprint line somewhere. Not really the best of places, but whatever.
The group reforms and I know "The Big Climb" is coming. I'm calling it El Guapo in honor of the hill at the end of the Arc En Ciel Ride. This mofo is probably a little over a mile and a half. I think there are about 50 guys or less left. Ladies, forgive me, i'm going to use "guys" as a generic term since you are in a big minority. Let's just say, I am totally impress with the ladies abilities.
i hit the climb near the front, but i'm cramping. Drat. I find my gear and go my pace. Guys pass me at the bottom. I pick a few off on the way up. two guys catch me. one guy keeps attacking me. i just maintain my pace. there probably wasn't that many in front of me. i dropped the attacker near the top. he went really hard and i think he blew up. the grade lessened a little bit and i upped the pace as i went by him.
i set my sights on catching people in front of me. i made a wrong turn, which made me pass a bunch a second time, but hooked up with a few folks for the last few miles. worst thing is the finish is a little bastard of a climb. i was hurting but this one girl i was with most of the day lit it up and i could not get dropped now.
OUCH! I was done. Cooked. fried. need beer. hell, it is only 11AM. if i can get some good riding in while i'm out here, i should get in shape fast. at my best, i could probably hang with the top guys. they are good, but hey, I used to train with Yabroudy the Slayer of the Mtns. He taught me how to suffer. Actually, he made me suffer. Lord Vader just says get in a break or tow me up front at the end to unleash the fury.