Disclaimer: there might be some embellishment in this post
After such a long week it was great to get out for a ride. This is a rest week, which means easy rides. Unfortunately, due to work I have not ridden since Saturday's assault on Mt Mitchell. I have the best job in the world for me right now though, so I am not going to complain.
I met Nolan over at Bent Creek. He had one hour, so we headed up Ingles Field and down Hickory Top, although HT is not all down!!
We had planned on a nice easy ride. I let him take the lead and he upped the pace. I think he has been training secretly and this ride was really a test to see where my fitness is. Knowing his schemes, I kept my efforts at around 75% the whole time. And I let him take the lead. Even on the downhills I held back, not wanting to show what I have. It's something I learned from Lance Armstrong when we used to ride together.
We had some good talks about life in general. It was great to just ride with a friend who understands the need to ride. In fact, all of my friends who ride, understand the need to ride. It's the non-riding ones who think I am crazy, for more reasons that one. But that's fine, we do it because we love it. It makes us feel good, it keeps us healthy. And our kids love it!!
It was hot and steamy, as we climbed the grunts on Hickory Top. I was feeling good and relaxed which translated to the bike being looser and rolling smoother. I was hitting little jumps and riding the little techy sections with confidence, letting nothing bog me down.
We rolled on down the dirt road hitting speeds of at least 32 mph, a squirrel started to run out in front of me. It changed it's mind last minute...that would have hurt.
Out onto BC Gap road we headed back. Nolan admitted that this ride was a little faster than we had planned. We were both satisfied though. I was fine taking a chill pace back to the parking lot, but when he said we had two hill intervals left, and thought back to last time we rode, and how he got the jump on me, I knew what he had in mind.
We kept the same pace up the first long hill before descending to the Deerfield Conn parking lot. I had taken the lead and was about 20 yrds out. I sprinted in the saddle to widen the gap and kept going. Nolan has a lot of power and I was not sure if I could keep the pace up. I slowed and let him catch me. As he caught on, he attacked. I stood up and close to the top of the hill was able to get in his slipstream. We were both trying to recover before the last climb to the parking lot. I wanted to surge but stayed tucked in. As we reached the bottom of the hill, I eyeballed a target where I would attempt my attack. Nolan knew that I was going to try something, he is one smart cat, so as the hill tilted up, he attacked. It was a good attack and had me a little worried. I threw my plan out the window, and stood on the pedals. I stayed behind him a for a couple of seconds until I got my rhythm and came around, not fast, but gradually. Then I was in the lead and we were there. Thanks Nolan.
1 hour in the woods was great for me today. I was able to get back home to see my family, cut a neighbor's grass and hang out with my wife!!
Have a great day.