That you owe money to and is waiting around every corner to sucker punch you, until its fully repaid. What can I say, its bittersweet being back on the road bike, by choice or by happenstance. With a severe dearth of pavement training miles and really no structure ever since I moved from the trainer onto pavement, I wasn't expecting much and rightfully, didn't get a whole lot either. Friday I met up with a few of the guys for some time spent at Center since we'd sadly been beaten back from them due to the rain sporadically hosing down our plans. I got in a nice 2 hour relaxed pace ride and pretty much hit everything twice. I even managed to ride a bit with Keely from PRC who was reacquainting herself with some dirt lovin fun.
The weekend found me logged in to work and off the bike for the most part. a good chunk of Saturday I was able to get my enclosed trailer back into shape after the shellacking it took on one CITA work day last fall. The concrete buggies we rented had no problem going straight through the rotted wood on the tailgate and consequently also tore off part of the metal exterior of the gate. Team Cow and I made a pretty excellent deal that he'd buy the necessary repair materials and help do the work in exchange for a couple weeks use of the trailer during the summer.
I hit TNWC for the first time in a few weeks. I just about lost the pack before we even were off Morningstar Drive and knew it probably wouldn't be much fun beyond that. I made my way up to the front for a bit drafting as much as possible, but the same old song was playing. As soon as the pace cranked up north of Ankeny I was straight out the back. About the only difference is I happened to be 4th or 5th wheel when the pace cranked up so I got the pleasure of the entire pack passing me. Shortly thereafter I saw the B group form up about a 1/4 mile up the road, but I couldn't bridge the gap and decided not to chase them up to Slater opting for the turn back towards Polk City. By the end of the ride, I was so far off the back, it appeared I was off the front as the lead riders pulled within eyesight after I turned on Meredith past the Perkins and they were cooling down at that point so I still made it back to the cars first/last.
Wednesday I was in charge of little one for the evening and she'd been dying to go for a ride so in lieu of attempting the feat of dragging her along on the PRC ride, I opted for Kim's Dogtown Cruiser night leaving from the Drake Farmer's Market and cruising through the various neighborhoods in the area. Kim and I were the only takers so we very leisurely paced our way around town for about 45 minutes before heading off to BBQ at Jethro's. I think eating there 2 nights in a row, may have been a bit much, but at least my BBQ appetite has been quenched for a bit. A word of warning though for those that may be interested in hitting it up- the beer prices are f'ing ridiculous. $4.50 for a pint or $13 for a pitcher of Fat Tire is just highway robbery in my book.
On to Thursday and I steeled myself for my wildly varying TT effort in the form of the Elkhart TT series. My whole goal was to break 20 minutes which hadn't happened in my 3 previous attempts. I assumed I'd be able to break it handily with the bit of training I'd had this year and at least feeling like I'm faster than previous years. The wind was pretty calm, but still felt like a slap in the face on the turnaround portion. In retrospect I could've stood to warm up a bit longer and hit the starting line a little closer to my time rather than waiting in line. My legs didn't feel like they were really going well until almost 2 miles into the course. As the finish cone finally came into site, I was setting right at 19 minutes. I had to hustle pretty good to meet my goal, but luckily the clock showed 19:43 as I crossed the line. At least I made one of my goals this week.
Kris inquired as to whether or not I'd be hitting the coffee ride this morning and I decided I may as well hit it since the rain looks to be moving in for various parts of the weekend. The reports I've heard on this ride vary greatly on what the pace is. Some say it's a nice relatively easy paced hour long ride and others call it the coffee crit. Being this is the only time I've ridden it, my experience was of the crit variety with a few decent sprint points thrown in and a lot of high paced paceline riding going on along with a pretty high end (for me) pace being averaged. I hung on (with some help of the stop lights) until roughly 3/4 through the ride where I got gapped as we turned on to Westown parkway. I finished a few minutes back, but was pretty happy that my legs felt decent for the majority of the ride. I'm even contemplating the "shootout" tomorrow AM to cap off a week of getting reacquainted with the road bike.
So, in all, it was a good week back on the bike. The new road bike (I still need to find a name) has been pretty kick ass even if it really hasn't made me any better of a rider. I finally changed out the seat last night to my original (Fizik Alliante) in lieu of the ass hatchet that came on the bike. The Toupe that came with the bike feels great for about 20 miles and then I get various nasty pains shooting from my backside down through my legs. Tuesday night I got to a point where I wondered if I was going to have to stop and call for a ride it was so painful. This morning I felt great with the new saddle. I'm hoping a longer ride will prove the same.