Last week’s training
Tuesday: more trainer time.
Wednesday: commute to work. My toes were numb. Later, I bought “CalienToes”. Has to be the best product name ever.
Thursday: In order to avoid the cold toes, I rode during lunch instead. A flat 15 mile loop and at a pretty good pace. I thought I was ready for the Saturday ride.
Saturday: What could possibly be the downside? “Saturday Cycling Series. Come and meet us at the Avery Tap Room for a group ride the first Saturday of each month. These rides are slow paced and typically run in the 35 to 45 mile range. All those who partake in the ride are welcome to a free pint or two at the Tap Room after the ride. Next Ride: Saturday, February 7th at 11 AM. Departs from the Avery Tap Room” (emphasis added)
Beer after a ride sounds like pretty good motivation to me. If only it were just that simple.
What exactly is “slow paced?” I’ve already whined that much of my training is really to improve my own pace so to keep up with, well, pretty much everyone else, but slow paced sounds promising, right? Thing is, it’s only February. It’s so early in the biking season that plenty of folks haven’t even gotten back in the saddle yet. Apparently, the only folks hardcore enough to even be riding in the winter are the same people who have all four hours of the 2008 Tour de France video playing in front of the roller trainers in their basement or never really stopped riding over the winter. Or they were dumb enough to sign up for some ride they can’t really handle. True enough,there was another one of those at this ride, but he’s one of the guys I signed up with to do the Triple Bypass. All told about 30 folks showed up for this ‘easy’ ride.
Well, “slow paced” is not 12 mph (19.2 kmh). Actually, it was a quite civilized 16 (25.6) or so. That’s just fine in a large group like this. The problem comes when these race-team riders hit a hill and nothing changes. No slowing down, just plowing up the hill at the same speed everyone has been relaxing at all along. I survived a hill or two, but I was tired already. A small group of women was left behind pretty early in the ride. For the life of me I can’t see why I didn’t just hang back with them. Beer and girls? That seems way better than my plan.
Instead, I stayed in the group, and on and on they pedaled, chatting with each other and enjoying the early season ride. I just wanted…to… let…up…just a bit…for just a moment.
So I did. And off they went. I caught up with a small group of riders who must have decided on the same plan, because the main group was no where in sight. We got back back to the tasting room about a half hour and 20 or 25 miles sooner than the rest of the group. The tasting room was buzzing with guests enjoying the free samples. That’s when it dawned on me. I didn’t need to ride 40 miles to get a free pint at the Avery Tap Room. They give ‘em to everyone who walks through the door. Go there and get one yourself. Mmmm, beer. Or, if you’re really dumb, join me for the next ride. Yeah, I’ll probably try again.
Saturday: 52 miles, including the ride back and forth to the tap room from home, but hey, beer.