Monday, January 07, 2008

First road ride of the year

With the warm temps outside on Saturday, the roads were beckoning. As luck would have it, I scored information and an invite to tag along with a group ride mostly comprised of guys from All 9 Yards and a representative of the local orphanage. As I suspected, I was severely outgunned for the ride, but alas, such is the life of a non-racing, newbie roadie.

Even though I showed up with a gun (regular road bike) to a knife fight (knobby tired cross and mountain bikes) I still ended up getting slashed to bits as soon as the road turned steep. I actually did pretty well on the flats and slight grades, but as soon as we started hitting anything over 5% grade I flew out the back of the pack quick as lightning. Unfortunately for me, the only slower rider was even further back which meant riding by myself for the back half of the ride. Poor Steve fared worse than I bringing a rock to the fight as he was on an old steel Schwinn that looked like it was built to the same standards as a Sherman tank and probably weighed roughly the same.

All in all, the ride was an excellent burn. 48 miles, 2000 feet of climbing, some good conversation (when I could keep up), and enjoying the sun on my face. I couldn't ask for a lot more other than that pesky quad cramp that threatened to send me to the ground sobbing like a baby.... but I digress. I guess one of my goals for the year should be trying to keep up with the fast group for an entire ride. I'm sure I'll get used to being shot out the back!

Sunday was supposed to be a couple hours of winding my way through the center trails on the mountain bike. Alas, it was not to be. With the warm weather I was anticipating slushy and wet conditions, but not ready for the single track to be hard packed ice due to thaw and refreeze. After a scant hundred yards or so, my friend and I decided we'd fare much better and probably with less pain by heading out on the pave trails and road. We looped through Water Works, through Gray's Lake, and around Principal Park for a relaxing 14 miles. It was just enough to get some endurance miles in and keep from stressing the muscles relaxing from the day before.

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