A bit strange waking up this morning to pretty thick fog outside, and needing to put on leg warmers. Kevin went for a base layer as well, but I knew we’d be punching through the fog soon enough.
A large group yet again, but my hopes of a relatively-easy Thursday ride (the Thursday ride is typically a fair amount slower than Tuesday) were quickly dashed as the other Mike lead the charge to the base of the climb. Here’s where it gets strange… if you want to survive, sometimes you have to go to the front and control things. Kind of like “riding tempo” at the Tour de France. You ride just hard enough that nobody really wants to pass you. To take control meant doing something I’d generally rather not do- ride through the park. Yep. My idea. Think I really surprised a few with that one!
It was a brisk but not impossible pace through the park, pausing briefly to get past the still-closed gate at the bottom (which ate up about 20 seconds according to my Garmin readout), and getting to the upper park entrance 9 minutes, 47 seconds after the timing point for the start of the climb. Not that I keep track of such things. Kevin (my son, not the pilot) was still with me, along with everyone else at this point. But from there on, I would glue myself to John’s wheel for as long as I could, even though that meant Kevin began dropping behind. Perhaps especially so because of that; I’ve found in the past that slowing even a little bit to Kevin’s pace early in a climb dooms me later, as he picks up speed and I slow down.
At the top I had about 40 seconds on him, which suited me just fine. He had others with to watch out for cars if he had a seizure, so it’s not as if I were abandoning him. One way or another there was a point to be made, and that point was that riding at my pace, I should still be able to beat him up a climb. Not for long, I’m sure, but today, and maybe for a couple more months. Past that? The only shot I’ve got requires that I drop some more weight and step up my game a bit.
The “Nice Corgi!” remark? That came as we were returning through Woodside, and came across a young woman (these days that means mid-30s) walking her dog, a very nice-looking Corgi. What became quickly apparent though was her expectation that something entirely-different was going to follow “Nice…”. Hope she wasn’t disappointed.
We arrived back at the start at 9:20, several minutes earlier than normal for a Thursday, and the average speed of 16.7mph when I got home was definitely in the “Tuesday” range. That might explain Kevin sleeping a couple hours following the ride. Some of us have to go to work or school. Kevin got to sleep. Something’s unfair about that.