Saturday, March 7, 2009

Stellar Ride

I'm sitting at the computer sipping a Coke eating some Cup 'O Noodles--ahhh!

Swim practice was cancelled today; it's good because I stayed up too late watching 7 Pounds with my wife. Yes it's not released yet...she got her hands on some bootleg movies. These were premo though...Jerry Seinfeld wasn't manning the video camera this time.

At any rate, I joined the team for the usual team ride. The weather was in the 60's but the wind was gusty. We're talking 20-30 MPH by mid-afternoon. It was really sketchy. We basically did the same ride we did last week, without all the pros and other teams. I was curious to see how I'd ride sans Masters swimming warm-up. On the way out, we rode fairly briskly toward our first sprint. I kept getting gapped, because triathletes don't accelerate well. I'd motor back to the group and there would be another surge, and I'd be gapped again. I wasn't tired...I just can't go with the surges. I had no problem getting back on. By the time we finally got to the sprint, the group was already broken up, so there wasn't much of a sprint. We made our way to Placitas and started the long ascent. At first, the legs felt really heavy and I fell off the lead group. About half way up, my legs started to feel really good. I switched to a bigger gear and started to motor. In a few mintues, I was back to the main group. That was strange; the lead group contained some respectable climbers, and I just closed a quarter mile gap. Hmmm! We kept motoring up the hill and I finished just behind the leaders. That was a vast improvement from last week when I was shelled and left for dead near the beginning of the ride. We began our long death march back to Albuquerque into a wicked headwind. My this point, my legs felt really good. We started a pace line, and I kept taking extra pulls when a gap would open up. We finally made it back to Albuquerque at the foot of the dreaded Tramway ascent.

We had a tail wind going up, which was a welcome change. One of the riders, started his timer. I asked him what he was doing and he responded that he wanted to see how long it would take to climb Tramway with a tailwind. I joked that maybe would could do it in 15 minutes. He said he once did it when he was peaking and there was an even stronger tailwind. We all decided to see how quickly we could do it in. I was feeling really good--4 hours and 75 miles into the ride! I put it in a big gear and started to push really hard. I quickly found a rythym and just put my headdown and worked. Soon, I was all alone. I looked back and I had a 200 yard gap on the nearest person and some of the others were no longer visible. I just kept going. Finally I reached the top and noted I finished in 14:40. The next rider came rolling up a minute later. This rider is probably the best climber on our team. I had just told him before Tramway I wasn't climbing well because of all the running I'm doing. When he caught up to me he scolded me for saying I wasn't climbing well. I just shrugged. All I can figure is I didn't swim this morning. We rode home and I tried to act non-chalant about my climb.

Now I'm going to take my daughter bike shopping. She saved $48 from her birthday and she really wants a bike. $48 won't buy carbon or TI. She's going to need a little more money!

No comments: