With all the rain and flooding going on, the dirt ride was out this week and probably will be for several more. Instead, I hit up the Ritual ride last night. A few of my fellow dirt riders showed up for the ride as well.
(Images stolen from Kent Carlson)
Another change due to flooding was the routing of the ride. We headed straight up Fleur and cut over on Bell before heading up Park to the trail head. We were supposed to roll up Fleur as a group, but as I cruised along at a comfortable pace I quickly moved out to the front without realizing it. I slowed back down and got to the front of the group. I don't think I heard a single horn honk at us going down Fleur which was pretty amazing as we made sure to take a full lane for our group.
A few more people met us at the trail head and I realized the dirt guys had shown up as well. Kent riding fixed on the route was pretty impressive considering the speeds we tend to carry for the front group. Speaking of front groups, I managed to keep on further than I have before and due to a small stop by the few that broke away, I managed to hook back on and finish with the front group for the first time. Usually I'm a minute or two behind.
We rolled the loop pretty quickly and headed back to Ritual Cafe where they were just closing down for the night due to being a bit understaffed. That really wasn't a bad thing as the ride numbers were way down tonight. I think a combination of the threat of rain and a some alternative options for the tri-people to do some training kept a pretty good group of people away. We hung out for a few more minutes chatting and then with a lap of thunder resonating through the buildings, I figured it was time to head for the shed.
I have noticed that with the amount of riding I'm doing going down, my knees seem to ache more. Normally, I'd figure the opposite of this, but I guess with them being stressed less often, now they ache when I do put the pressure on. I still need to double check my saddle height and make sure it's where Donny set it for me at the fitting last summer. Carbon bikes are notorious for letting the seat posts slip. I will say that everything felt really good on the bike last night. I was just feeling it and didn't overwork myself on the first half of the ride. I did manage to get my heart rate to hit 190 going up the soccer hill and didn't completely die off once we were over the top. Of course I was chasing a couple of the tri guys who I think were mostly toying with the speeds they were running while I was wide open just to hang on.