It has been 9 years since I did this ride. The last time I rode with this group, I got yelled at for something that I know was not my fault. The incident left a really bad taste in my mouth and I decided not to go back....ever.
Well I've learned a lot over the past few years, and am learning about grace and not holding grudges about things. When I go the opportunity to ride, I took it, and headed down towards the river. I rode from home to warm up and save gas.
On the way down I hooked up with Chris Larsen and Billy McCracken whose wheels I shamelessly sucked. I'm glad I found them because the distance to the start was a little farther than I realized, plus traffic on Meadow Rd. I think I would have barely missed the group without the pull.
The air was hot and stifling. Sitting in the sun at the stoplights I roasted. I was a little worried about what would happen when the pace picked up.
Getting to the start and chatting with friends is always fun. I got to see several folks who I have not seen for a while.
The ride started with the A's going off first. Then it was our turn. With the start on a downhill that lasts a couple of minutes, everybody got up to speed pretty quickly. And then it was on. Steady, fast pace that had my heart rate at or above LTHR for the next hour. I suppose I must be doing something right with my training because for the most part, I was able to hang on. After 2 huge leadouts for the sprint lines though I started to face.
Thanks to Erica, who encouraged me to hang on to the back. I did and was able to hang with the group back to the finish, and even dropped several on the climb back up.
I was calmly excited to see that with my HR so high for so long, my body handled the heat pretty well.
A chocolate milkshake at The Hop after the ride didn't hurt either.
I definitely enjoyed the ride, and it gives me a new challenge. I'll be back when the timing is right, but first I have to justify not being at home for dinner with the family! I'm sure we can work something out.