Took off on an early ride yesterday thanks to the ladies at PRC. We headed out from East Village towards the wilds of Altoona and beyond. The plan was to roll through a lap of the Altoona Road Race course coming up April 4. All told I think 12 or so of us rolled out around 3:30 including birthday girl Keely and her dad. Funny, we had 3 Rick's on the ride (myself, Keely's dad, and Mr. Noyce).
For the most part we kept the pace at a decent tempo though I kept trying to push the hills just to see how my legs would respond. There really isn't much climbing on the way out to the course with the exception of a couple smaller hills and one slow climb at the edge of Pleasant Hill. We regrouped at Four Mile School and took off from there enjoying a pretty decent cross tailwind. After pushing a couple hills early on, a group of 4 of us broke out and kept the pace up as we followed the loop. We hit a pretty crazy crosswind and then headed back into the headwind as the course looped around. I hadn't been on the course before so the hills were a bit of fun for me. I could definitely envision the damage some people with climbing legs would put on the others during the race. I even managed to pop the other 3 off the back on the final climb up to Vandalia where I pushed the pace to purposely test myself. Strangely enough I felt good at the top and opened up a small gap at the same time.
After that, we regrouped and rolled back to the school working on some drafting techniques with the tri-guy who stayed in the front group. A quick break while we waited for the main pack and a few more minutes chatting and we headed back to town. Keely treated us all to some massive rice krispie treats in honor of her birthday and thanks to her mom and dad. We gorged ourselves for a few minutes and rolled ourselves back to head home. 2 hours and a shade over 30 miles on the bike all while enjoying 75 degree weather in early March! How could you ask for much more?
Just a friendly reminder for those interested in gravel: CIRREM is this Sunday. Hope to see you there and enjoying some suffering out on the course.