I can't say I was completely surprised by the race being cancelled last night since the call had to be made roughly by 3 to get everything and everyone halted in time and at 3 it was drizzling pretty decently. Add in the fact that this weekend is arguably one of the biggest race weekends in the midwest and it was almost a no brainer that people weren't going to want to race in the rain for what's pretty much training purposes with the big weekend on the line. Definitely disappointing, but completely understandable.
Having an open Thursday night did give me the opportunity to catch another ride I'd been meaning to this spring. The Thursday night DMCC ride is run by a friend of mine. It was Tuesday nights last year and one of the staples of my weekly rides. I had yet to make it this year, but with the threat of rain mostly passed, I jumped on the opportunity. Of course, one of the reasons I haven't been doing many of the DMCC rides is the pace most run at. I've been working on my strength and speed this year so unless I need to plug along at recovery pace, I'm usually off the front and mostly on my own. I rode a few miles with the group until another rider took the lead and I jumped on with him. Soon enough we were cruising in the low 20's and just kept the pace all the way to Martensdale while doing a bit of chatting. I managed to keep the pace high as we came the last few miles into town and put a decent gap on him. Score one for the work I've been putting in. We rested for about 10 minutes or so before the rest of the group came in and then headed back a few minutes later. I pushed again as my legs felt pretty ugly starting back up, but soon enough I was working well and trying to keep in my drops more than usual. I blasted my way up to Bambino's in Orilla and made the stop for dinner and beer. Another rider joined me and we passed an hour sucking down a couple of brews as I enjoyed my Italian Grinder. I'd definitely recommend it for anyone looking for a stop on the Great Western Trail.
The pace was a tad bit slower as we headed back to the trail head. It was getting dark and now fueled by beer and sausage, plus fighting a calf cramp, it was time to ease up. I still managed the out and back in under 2 hours which is pretty close to my best time and no drafting. My best time included a 4 person pace line and really was only a few 10ths of a MPH faster which I probably would have beat if it weren't for the refreshment stop.
For some reason I had a calf cramp last night which is something new for me. I don't think it was hydration or food related. I'm wondering if it was due to spending more time in an "aero" position by either riding in the drops or doing a deep arm bend while holding the hoods. I probably spent 45 minutes or so in those two positions which is probably 30 minutes longer than I ever have before. Any of you wonderful readers have an opinion? Speaking of readers, damn, my readership was way up this week. I'm sure a good portion of it is due to Squirrel and The Almanzo both posting links to my blog, but it's great to see the numbers up after averaging only a reader or two daily on average.