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Where is this speed coming from?

by on March 20, 2012

With rain looming off to the west (at least that’s what someone said the radar showed … I never looked), and some saying they saw lightning, at least 8 of us were out for a great ride on a beautiful morning.  The temperature was about 60° F and the riders were uncertain about what kind of speed to ride.  We started easy.  Clearly some were holding back.  The pace allowed us to catch up a little bit and to consider the recent injuries of a couple of riders.  The injuries should not be Flèche-ending, but could be a factor.  We had a few close calls with walkers on the trail this morning.  No lights, no reflective gear, dark clothing all combine to make it hard to see someone in the dark.  We avoided any collisions or close calls, but sometimes it was the second row that saw the walkers first.

At Old County, I elected to avoid Round Bay, as did Mike C.  He pulled ahead and I was chasing his tail light for the next several miles.  I was attempting a good hard ride and wanted to see how far down the trail I could get before being caught by the main group.  They caught me at Joyce Lane when I stopped for a car, and they also slowed.  I caught the peloton’s tail and hung on, watching my speedometer climb past 27 mph while riding a foot from the rider ahead of me.  When the inevitable sprint to the finish began, I was content to hold Dan’s wheel and keep the pedals turning.  Strava indicates that I matched my best ever time on that leg of the ride!  I averaged 24.4 mph on that 0.9 mile segment.  Mike beat the peloton to the end.  He says that’s a first for him.

The return trip was a little more leisurely.  I tried to stay with the group, but when I couldn’t close the gap I simply resolved to ride a reasonable pace the rest of the morning.  Mike accompanied me. We talked about the training ride he was on Saturday.  It was a real confidence booster.  Soon enough, I made my way home after a quick loop “around the block”.  I was surprised to see an average speed for the morning of 17.3 mph.

School buses were a factor this morning.  One bus passed us on B & A with just the minimum 3′ clearance but caught us by surprise because the bus was exceeding the speed limit and approached as silently as a bus can.  Almost immediately, another school bus fell in behind, waited until it was safe to pass, and gave us a wide berth.  Later, I got caught behind a school bus picking up kids for school.  I was stopped a couple of times as it made its collection of children.

I’m quite encouraged by the noticeable improvement in speed and stamina.  Today marks one month back on the bike (541 miles) outdoors.  Not bad!

This Ride: 24.8 miles
Month: 421.2 miles
2012: 696.6 miles
Total since 1/1/2010: 14,550.3 miles

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From → Cycling

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