Mostly recaps of two wheeled rambles through the countryside, but sometimes thoughts on other things.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hey, Hey, Goodbye to Pete.

Just like the "Steam" song from 1969, Pete is saying "na na na na, etc" as he and Ann pack it up and go home to Tennessee. Pete started to ride with us last year and when asked what ride he might want for his swan song, he asked that we re visit the Emerald Mountain Toll Bridge Ride from last November. Back then, he had to walk up one of the last hills, but today he was dancing on his pedals. " I didn't remember it being that easy a climb," he said. Well no, Pete, back then it wasn't. Proof again that the improvement curve for cyclists is rapid. You can get quite a bit more proficient in a brief span of time. To get really good, takes longer of course.

I, on the other hand, was draggy today. My pace was a mph off that November ride, but it felt far more sluggish while I was doing it. A cylcometer is useful at these times, providing just the facts. You climbed this much, it took this long, etc. The weather was not great. It smelled of pending rain in the early morning air, and was overcast. We began the ride in calm air, but came back into an awful headwind. I packed a rain jacket though. This virtually insured that we would not get wet. The reverse is also usually true. I dressed for comfort in wet conditions, and so had on a little too much for non rain. It wasn't unmanageable though. As always, Frank, Steve and Pete were good company. Joe was missing, due to work schedules. Tom is nursing a wrist from his Billingsly ride. We hope they both come back soon.

The route has scenic roads, and plenty of fragrant wisteria, but much of the paving is coarse and climbs range from 9% - 16% with regularity. Topped 40 mph going down, slowed to a crawl going up. I did lean over to Frank at one point and confess that I was happy to have brought a triple today instead of the compact double (what I ride on Tues & Thurs on the hill drills) No dog or rude driver issues today and not much traffic.

I can say I enjoyed the ride today, but I did it, and I did enjoy giving Pete a proper pedaling send off.


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