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Flèche Countdown: 9 Days

by on March 28, 2013

I wouldn’t have predicted it.

I would never have guessed.

I’m still shaking my head.

I didn’t ride yesterday.  I stayed in bed without much regret.  I’m tired.  My legs ache.  I might be getting a cold.  I slept.

I found myself making excuses last night before going to bed.  I was probably 50/50 in terms of riding this morning.  I got up once in the night, convinced I’d sleep in again, but I didn’t turn off the alarm.  When it rang at 4:45 it woke me from a dream, and I debated for a few moments whether or not to ride.  But I got up … slowly … and proceeded to get ready.  There wasn’t much enthusiasm.

I rode easy to the Rusty Bridge.  The full moon was getting ready to set, and it was big, round, and bright.  The light sparkled off the pavement.  It was pretty.

When I saw who was out to ride this morning, I knew I was in trouble.  It was mostly those young fast bucks.  I announced to Dan and Dave that I wasn’t planning to ride fast this morning.  Fast wasn’t what I needed for preparations for the Flèche.

The speed didn’t pick up until Jennings Road, and I stayed with a few of the guys in front, knowing that when I got dropped I would have ridden with people as long as I could.  Back onto the trail, I was behind the lead out guy.  Crossing Robinson Road, I was still with the leaders.  I dropped back just a little while on Old County Road, then when I hit the uphills, I drifted back and watched the tail lights recede.  Dan and I rode together, an easy but still quick pace, and continued down the trail.  As we approached the end, I noted a light coming up fast from behind and poured on a sprint to the end.  I got caught, but was pleased to see that all the other riders had waited for the stragglers.  (Of course, they were spent because they had sprinted the whole distance.)

As we continued north on the trail, I hung with them until we got to Glen Oban.  They picked up the pace again and I fell off the back.  Ravi was a distant spot far behind me.  The gap widened and I rode solo until the return to the trail when I waited for Ravi and we finished the ride together.

It turned out to be a fast day.  Strava tells me it was the fastest ride all year (by about 30 seconds).  I really didn’t think I had it in me this morning!

By the time I returned home, my mood was better.  I was not fatigued.  My legs did not ache.  I was ready for the day.  A ride does so much more than a cup of coffee ever will.

Tomorrow: Breakfast ride.

This Ride: 21.3 miles
Month: 474.8 miles
2013: 1279 miles
Total since 1/1/2010: 21,051.9 miles

From → Cycling

One Comment
  1. i know that feeling well – usually i just turn over and go back to sleep. don’t want to hate riding my bike. see you at the end of the fleche . have a good ride.

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