The schedule has been full lately so with the holiday weekend, I did what I could to put some miles in. I took Friday off to help me catch up on things that need to be done. There were several team members going for a ride, so I decided to join them. The original plan was not exactly the ride I was looking for, but I was going to do it anyway. As it turns out, someone decided to take the long way to the TT route. This long way turned in to quite the adventure. There was several sections of road that was covered in rock. Not just a little here or there, but like a gravel road. This is not the best condition for road bikes and before too long, one had a flat. There was an issue with the stem on the first tube change and it had to be replaced with a second one.
Things seemed all good and we were on our way. A little farther down the road he ended up having another flat. It didn’t seem right to have a flat where it happened. As the tube was changed this time, it was noticed that there was a tear on the side of the tire and the tube was sticking out. This is why the last tube didn’t last that long. A tire boot was used and soon enough it was aired back up. The bad thing is that it was not too strong and we were scared to air it up where it needed to be and we were not sure if it would hold up.
With the holiday the plan was to get out early so we could get done and still spend time with family. I was not sure how well I would ride since I was still pretty sore. I thought there was only going to be a couple of us for the ride, but there were a lot more at the meeting spot. As we rolled off I could not get a good count. I counted 12 or 13 riders. This was one of the biggest groups I have been in for a while. I was not sure how well it would turn out seeing a couple TT bikes and some strong legs in the group. It started out a little quick at times for the warm up I normally need, but I managed to stay with the group.
A little ways down the road the pace was picked up. I was hurting and saw some off the back. I waited for them to catch up. A couple of them bridged the gap to the main group. I was content with the couple of guys that I was surrounded by. We put in some good work and making out way. I could see the big group pull away and still hammering. Farther up the road it looked like someone had fallen off the pace. I figured we would join them soon, but they must have kept the hammer down and we never saw them.
The next town they were waiting for us and we re-grouped. That was good and all, but we strung out fairly quickly. At the next intersection there was a split in the group. Some continued on and some turned back toward town. With my legs hurting already, I figured I would head back toward town. The few guys that went down the road already were waiting for us. I figured that I would just get dropped quickly anyway, but surprisingly enough to me, I actually held on the the group for a while. We were moving pretty good and making good time. As we got closer we turned off to add some miles. I even held my own for most of the first part of this, but eventually had trouble holding on and dropped off. I was on my own to get back to the car.
I was very tired at this point and with no one else around to help keep me pushing the pace, I backed off and made it a more comfortable pace. I returned back to the cars not much after the rest of my group showed up. I know slowed down a lot at the end, but my computer shows that I still averaged 19.9 mph for 51 miles. That tells me that we were moving pretty good for the rest of the ride. I feel pretty good that I could put 3 good rides in 4 days. I put in over 120 miles for those 3 rides. That is a lot for me. I really need to keep the miles up and keep the legs getting stronger. I just need to figure out the right balance of rest to rides. I have not been used to riding everyday, so as I put more rides in I want to make sure and get the rest I need too. I will just have to try to maximize my time.