I managed to get out on the road this weekend. I joined a group that was planning on a 60 mile ride. I was a little hesitant as I know these guys usually ride a fairly fast pace and the route they had in mind I have never done. Knowing I really need to ride, I decided to join them anyway and just deal with the side effects.
I showed up by 9:30 for the start time. After everyone was there the discussion started about the options. Being an outsider to the typical guys, I let them make the decisions. Well it ended up that the route was changed and I felt a little better knowing that I have rode that route before, but it was still not an easy road to ride, but they said it was easier then the other route.
It was fairly cold when we started. There were 6 of us that headed out. The pace was fairly fast, but nothing crazy as we started, 18-22 mph. I could handle that in a group. 10 miles or so in, I decided it was my turn up front. I think I held my own, but there sure was more wind up there. Toward the end of the road heading north there was one guy that was starting to fall back some. One rider fell back and road with them. The pack slowed up so everyone could catch up, but the gap was created more often as we went. Turns out he was having trouble with his hamstring. When we finally made it to the rest stop, he decided to not continue with us and head back on his own and call for a ride home.
After the rest stop the pace was picked up a little and we were cruising down the road. I was still not feeling too bad and took my turn up front. I was running 20-23 mph for a good little stretch and was starting to feel it. I should have pealed off sooner, but I saw a hill coming and thought if I peal off I will not be able to recover and get dropped. Well, I should have tried it, because I was getting dropped anyway and I already dug too far in to my reserve. It took a while, but I finally started to feel better and caught back up to the front group. At this time there was another rider that was starting to hurt and two of them fell back a bit. The pace was never really slowed up enough to let them catch up, so down the road we took another stop for everyone to regroup.
After everyone was there and ready, we took off toward home. Some how I ended up in front, but I was not feeling too bad so I stayed there. I was told to keep it 15-17 and see if everyone stayed on. That seemed like a good speed and everyone followed me home. It ended up just over 57 miles, but it was enough for me. I hope to join them next week too. I get in much better shape when I ride with them. I am even thinking about signing up for the Rain ride. I guess we will see.