Yesterday I went for a 3.5 mile run followed ( ran waiting for my riding group to show up.) by a 25 mile ride, with my usually riding group from the Y. Yesterday only 6 of us showed up and one guy came late ( we we riding out as he was pulling into the lot, but he was a bad ass roadie and he caught the group.) The only problem with my group rides is I'm doing them on the Stomper ( as I sold my road bike this year. I might buy a new one in a couple of years, but for right now there are no crits in the game plan and I needed the cash.) which makes it hard to draft. Anyway, we did a reverse of the Griskus Sprint and Olympic route to Route 6 ( going down the smiley face hill.) and climbed up route 61, I stood with the two strongest riders as we spurted each other on, then as we turned into the center of Bethlehem I dropped the hammer as we began a long gradual climb to Morris. Now this climb was no joke, I normally cruise down this same hill at 35mph when I roll back from Washington. This time I was cranking up it at 15, 16, 17 mph in the big ring. Because it was gradual I was able to settle into a rhythm, and increase my speed, unlike the short steep burners which require low gears and out of the saddle efforts, that dot the rest of the country side. Halfway to the top I looked back over my shoulder expecting to see at least one other cyclist on my rear wheel, no one in sight...got 3/4 to the top passing the fairgrounds looked back again no one in sight.....
I got up into the center of Morris , and almost wanted to scream " Where's my 300 Euro bonus!"
I stopped to wait figuring somebody in the group tried to make a break and up the tempo...2 minutes went by then 3....it had to be a good 5-10 min. later that the second rider approached, (the dude who came late he really cranked, from here on in he will be known as Hardcore roadie. ) the top then the rest of the group, one of the faster guys had been cramping, one dude was riding a retro steel frame, the other two guy weren't holding back but were trying to keep the pain level tolerable. After a couple minutes of regrouping, we made our way back to Middlebury, via a podunk back road that spit out on to lower section of 61. At the begining I dropped back a little then after a nice straight descent I caught up with Hardcore roadie and we broke from the group. As we passed a farm and prepared for the "drop off the world" descent, he warned me " at the bottom of this hill there is a stop sign that jumps out at you." Ok I thought at the bottom of this one hill there is a stop piece of cake, what he failed to tell me is the descent is a 3 part hill, so I feathered my brakes expecting to see a red octagon, first sudden drop, no sign, second drop, no sign 3 drop , technical, sand, but no stop, got caught by the pack, last little hill sure enough there's the stop I don't think I've gone from 25 mph to 0 so fast without crashing. After that the pack stood together for a little bit until myself and two of the faster guys tried yet another breakway, as we approached the summit, one of the guys gave me the instructions to head straight back to the lot, instead of doing a backward loop of the Sprint Tri course, I nodded and within a few minutes was off the front. I managed to really hammer through a section of the Sprint tri course that I've been seeing a lot of lately, I managed to grind up the smiley hill and clear sailed back to the car. Hardcore Roadie came in about a minute after me, then the rest of the crew trickled in. Upon looking at my handy computer I averaged about 17 mph for the 25.55 miles ( slightly over 40k) we cranked out. Not bad for doing a 3.5 mile run before hand.
Leading for a while really gave me a confidence boost that my cycling is heading in the right direction, so hopefully I will be pulling a sub 2:30 at Nutmeg and sub-6 and dare I dream sub 5:30 bike splits in the Irons, yes Claire Badass mofo your bike split has been targeted.... I need to reclaim my badassness.
The king of the mountains