Saturday, July 20, 2013

Who Put That Big Wall On My Road?

Another Saturday, another Everglades Bicycle Club group ride. There was an unusually large group of riders today. Talk before the ride centered on the Tour de France and the rides and party being hosted by EBC tomorrow for the Tour's end in Paris. Actually that should have been my first warning...

At Deering, we lost half our group. They joined up with the newbie group that was heading back to City Hall. It seems they were family and friends of the newbie riders. The newbies were getting lots of back pats on their virgin ride and promises of yummy breakfasts for all back in the Grove. Lucky newbies.

A much smaller group left Deering for Black Point Marina, our turn around point. Before we got going, our leader announced that the last stretch before Black Point Marina would be a sprint for those that wanted to sprint. No warning bells rang in my tiny brain. I love chasing. Today's ride was faster than usual. We were going a fairly steady 21 mph when the sprint began. All those speedy little backsides began pulling rapidly away. Like a dumb retriever seeing a stick fly, I started to chase. By the time I came to my senses and backed off, all I could do was practice silent colorful language. It was hot and humid; we were only halfway through the ride; and I had just burned a huge wad of energy.

After the break at Black Point Marina, we headed home. The group was doing a 20-22 mph pace down the road. I held on for half the distance home.

Then a big wall loomed up in the road in front of me. I dropped my speed to 17 mph, the wall disappeared, and I kept going. Al dropped back to lead me back into the group. I tried to up my speed, but when I did, that wall just popped up in front of me. There was no way I could keep up with the group. I'd been dropped. Someone from the group would slow for us and lead us home at my slower speed.

Soon my favorite guy from the group, Cam, came back to us. I explained I was OK. I just used up my energy too soon on a very hot day. The group was moving faster than I could handle. I needed to ride home in the 16-17 mph range rather than the faster gallop of today's group. Cam's a great guy. He's a strong rider, and he gave up a fun ride to pilot fish me home. I owe him for that.

Al and I waved goodbye to Cam at the end of the ride and went to Fresh Market. Time for our post ride snack. After a long stroll through the market to bask in their delicious way-too-cold air conditioning. It was heavenly.

At home we recorded our 50.3 miles. It wasn't the length that made it memorable. Then we watched the Tour de France and saw Andrew Talansky do a smashing ride. He'll be finishing in the top 10. Why are we interested in Andrew Talansky. Well, he's our local legend. He grew up in Miami. A flatlander that can do mountains with the best of the pros!