Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tuff Ride

Wow, this blog is lame isn't it? Pretty much anything I have to say fits in 140 characters.

Did the tuff ride yesterday. I've lived in fear of how "tuff" this ride would be for a long time. With late season fitness coming around, I thought I'd finally give it a try two Tuesdays ago. There was more chit chat than a Birchwood Betty ride, and it was pretty mellow for quite a while. Once we got to "exurbia" it ramped up a bit, but with twenty or so guys pulling you along in a well-orchestrated paceline, it's amazingly easy to cruise at 25-30 mph. That week I ended up getting caught between a split, and after struggling to catch on to the lead group, I tried falling back, but that group was too far back or had turned somewhere. I got a lovely tour of the north side trying to find my way back (including some kind of bust going down). Nevertheless, it was a nice ride, good to see and talk to so many people, and I ended up averaging over 20 mph without it feeling very tuff at all.

So yesterday was a bit different. Birchwood Amy was also afraid of the tuff ride, so I encouraged her to come along, and if we got dropped we could figure out a way home together. Again, a nice mellow roll out past Wayzata, and like the other week, we stopped for flats. But then the Grandstay boys jumped on, and when things ramped up, they really ramped up! Living in fear of getting lost, I held on, as did Amy. The paceline was pretty disorganized this time, so cruising along at those speeds was harder than before. It was certainly "tuffer" than before, but a great workout. Just when I thought I'd pop, the pace mellowed rolling back into Wayzata, and stayed mellow the rest of the way home.

At one point, because the paceline was so chaotic, we all had to slow suddenly, which of course transmits down the line to someone in the back having to slam on the brakes, which ended up being Amy. As we were lollygagging through Wayzata, her tire blew. Interestingly, it wasn't where the tread was worn through to the casing from the skid, but on the sidewall from a bit of glass. I stopped along with a couple others and we got her going again with a tube and an empty packet of Sport Beans! We took the south branch LRT back, which was closed at one point for bridge construction, so we did a little cyclocross-y adventuring.

Unfortunately the head unit for my Cateye V3 popped off somewhere on the route, but as expected Amy's computer showed well over 20 mph, which included all the lollygagging. Zoom zoom!

Again, awesome to chat with so many people I otherwise only see at races, and a great workout riding with mostly category 1, 2 and 3 racers. Tuff, but just shy of the edge of too tuff.

Oh, found out Matt Muyres had a head-on collision on the way back on the Greenway. He got checked out and is okay fortunately!