Last night I decided to finally take a crack at the Wednesday night ride. I usually can't make this ride since it starts at 5 and I don't usually get off work until then. I had heard that this was the ride to be on if you were a fast rider in Lincoln. I hadn't heard wrong.
I met up with the group at the meeting spot that I at first of course for me I could not find. Luckily they never leave on time since I ended up getting there a few minutes late. As the ride got going it was a chill pace until we got out onto the highway and then riding two across on the shoulder (there was probably about 17 riders in the group) we started taking pulls going into the wind. I was hanging on pretty good and comfortable in the pack but as we got through the rotation I realized I was going to be get up front to take my pull with Marc who is a local coach and I knew he would lay down some power. I got up front right when we were coming up on a small incline and it took everything I had to keep pace with Marc and not slow down the group but I made it through it and felt ok.
When we got to a small town we made a turn and the pace really picked up and we hit started to hit a number of rolling hills. I was able to stay with the group for a while but the hills got to me and I cracked and was out of the group and off the back alone. A few other people fell out of the group shortly after I did and I was able to get on with them and had someone to work with instead of being alone. I have had this happen before but it is funny how in most of my mountain bike races I am always one of the strongest, fastest climbers but on the road I can never keep up on the climbs.
After quite a while of the three of us working together we came upon the group who had stopped at a convenience store to refill bottles and fuel up. By that time both of my bottles were empty and I was glad to stop and refill myself. I heard a someone from the group I was with chatting with a few of the other riders and I heard the earlier mentioned Marc say that "now you will know what it feels like to get dropped twice". This is a tough ride and nobody is waiting around for you. It sounded harsh but I actually like that in the group and it's that type of mentality that I need to be around to push me to get faster.
Once we left the convenience store we got moving again and I was able to stay with the group for a while. When we made the turn to start heading back towards Lincoln I don't know if the pace picked up or if I was just finished but I couldn't hold the pace and fell of the back and spent the rest of the ride alone.
All in all this was a really great training opportunity for me and I got my ass kicked all over the place but I will definitely hit this ride up every chance I get. As for riding today I didn't go out. I had made a change on my road bike moving the stem lower on the steering tube thinking I would like the lower positioning but I found that I was a bit to bent over and couldn't get down into the drops comfortably and by the end of last nights ride my neck was killing me. When I woke up this morning my neck was still really sore and I just had this feeling of being completely drained plus I ended up spending a lot of time getting my mountain bike taken care of so I just took the day off of training. It definitely will resume tomorrow. As for the mountain bike, I'll save that for tomorrow's post. Later.