I always try to warn dear wife when I plan to have a big ride to Ninigret and back. It pretty much means I will be gone from 5pm until 9pm. Even with the hall pass to do this yesterday, I found myself fumbling to get ready in time and ended up leaving with exactly 90 minutes in which to ride exactly 30 miles.. south.. into a headwind. A few times I really convinced myself that I wouldn't make it, but once I was past route 138, up and over that little rise on route 2, I started to really make up lost time. With about 2-3 miles left to reach route 1, I found myself a carrot- two triathletes on their TT bikes. It motivated me to press the pedals harder and I said hi to them as I passed, huffing and straining under the weight of my backpack. Got to the park at exactly 6:27, in plenty of time to hand them my pre-filled waiver and a $10 check hastily made out to "cash".
The race was hard! Strung out single file most laps, lots of attacks lots of primes. I took a few flyers to test the legs. The first was a quick bridge across to a lone Arc rider. Once together we rotated for a couple of laps- taking 1/2 lap pulls. but the field came around and that was that. Later on I saw a gap to a break of about 10 that looked do-able. I accelerated HARD and for about a minute I was cranking about 550 watts, hoping/expecting to see a tail of riders ready to come around and finish the break off.. but no one was there and I ended up falling short of the break by about 20 seconds more of that pace effort. Didn't have it and had to rest. By the time we hit 2 to go I was into mile 57 for the day. After I had freshened up at the back for a few laps I started looking for "the move" with 1.5 laps to go. The break up ahead was shattered- we picked up most of them and two guys were now alone surfing the field. (David K ended up beating his opponent for the win) Anyway I came up the wide open left side and saw Gary A on his hot pink Specialized just as he started hitting it hard. We got a small gap, he flicks his elbow, I come through hard and decide to go all-in but after about 15 seconds I'm really hurting. There's a little over a lap left and when I pull off the field is charging past. I actually sat up for a few seconds and let everyone go past me and basically let myself get dropped. But the bell was now ringing and I'll be damned if I'm gonna DNF at this point. I decide to ride myself back up to the tail-gunner position and finish the last lap. No sprint left in me though..
Mounted the headlight and set off north on Route 1 to meet the family at a friend's house in Narragansett. A pretty good ride of 76 miles completed. A big Wednesday like this is always the perfect tune up for my weekend racing. Now two days rest, some light spinning and I'll probably get on the floor and hump my Trigger Point cylinder a couple of times. Thanks for reading.