Man, yesterday just hit me like a load. By the end of the day I wanted nothing more than to wear my ass out on the bike. I headed back to my roots and hit up the Monday night Bike World ride. This was one of my staples when I started riding last year. It's always a fun ride and the pace is usually pretty mellow. With that in mind I grabbed the cross bike so I could ensure some good work while still keeping a nice pace with the group. As it turns out, I brought a knife to a gun fight.
We took off at 6 with 3 guys on road bikes and me. Tom and Courtney were the usual suspects that I typically can keep pace with pretty readily on the road bike and we had a new guy from Drake named Chris (I think) that turned out to be a strong rider as well. We blasted down the trail out to the mile long bridge and then took turns pulling a paceline. We rerouted and headed north and west to Granger before turning down to catch the Raccoon River Trail in Waukee and bringing that back towards Des Moines. I was feeling good for most of the ride, but definitely working hard to keep up with the group and sitting in a little more than the others.
As we made the turn towards Waukee, there was a single biker about a 1/2 mile up the road from us. We turned up the screws a bit and slowly started reeling him in. After close to 5 miles we finally caught and passed him outside of Waukee. He seemed surprised by a group of guys in a straggly paceline included a cross bike considering he was riding his aero bars and had on a Copper Creek Tri jersey. Coming into Waukee I finally cracked and fell off the back at the town sprint. Mercifully, they let up and I strung onto the back once more.
We slowed the pace down considerably and I weeble wobbled my way to Rock Bottom where it was time for a beer. Not a moment too soon if I say so myself. After refreshing on the beer, Chris and I headed back towards the shop since I had parked there and he'd ridden over from Drake. Tom and Courtney stayed to enjoy their spoils of burgers and sides and another beer or two. We rolled back in the dark and I was enjoying the evening air even though I was completely gassed. My legs were protesting the hills, but I still kept turning them over at a decent pace. Almost 50 miles for a weeknight ride on a cross bike definitely had me worn out and my mind was blank. Just how I wanted it.