..when you're in a big group. Even though the speeds are higher, you are doing less work in a double paceline where you get to pull for 10 minutes every hour or so.. The rest of the time, you're sucking wheel, chit-chatting, eating, drinking, looking around.. the only ones cracking more than 3 watts/kilo are the two guys at the front. With this in mind (and mountains of data to prove it) I embarked on a lonely journey towards the roads that I like the most, out in the reservoir area of Coventry and Scituate. This was going to be a morning of deliberate sensory deprivation and hill climbing. My only friends were my iPod and my ego.
Fifteen minutes into my ride on Division Road, I passed Mr Billy Y.. presumably (and later confirmed) to be on his way to meet the ArcenCiel ride at 8:00.. I sort of hoped he would pull a u-turn and trade pulls with me for 4 hours, but I was also tempted to turn around and head down there with him.. The problem with big group rides are the stops. Not that I mind them so much.. but the quicker you get the four hours over with, the better. In a big group, there is a preliminary stop to wait for everyopne, there are flats, pee breaks, kwik-e-mart breaks, dropped riders (sometimes me!).. all of which can make a 4 hour ride take 5 hours to complete. My plate is full, I can't afford to waste an hour, as much as I love the company I am in, I love my wife more. Anyway, long story short, I pictured a ride in my mind and in spite of repeatedly feeling like I wasn't going to make it, the ride was completed successfully in just over 4 hours. Speed was not impressive and neither was power, but relative to the usual big group ride, I actually clocked more TSS in 4 hours than I would have otherwise done in 5.
Saturday was beautiful and I treated wife and child to some off-roading at Big River for 90 minutes. What could be better? My legs were smoked from Saturday's TSS and I needed to shut it down for a couple of days. I'll admit though, that my OCD got the best of me and after the end of the season finale of Big Love, I went down into the basement for a one hour tempo spin, just to keep the engine primed.
Today I plan to ride home after work, then ride back in tomorrow morning. First bike commute of the year! 27 miles each way. Wish me luck.