First Tuesday/Thursday morning ride since my return from Africa, and I felt pretty decent. I gained just (just?) three pounds during the trip, of which two have already gone away, a very good sign. This morning Karl took off up the hill ahead of everyone else, with me glued to his wheel for a short distance (it wasn’t so hard until Marcus came along and the pace kicked up a bit). Behind were George, Kevin, Kevin and Eric. I was keeping my distance but saw one of the Kevins (my son) ride away from George, the other Kevin, and Eric, all of whom were having a nice social ride. At the wide clearing (1.41 miles to go) I decided to ease up and wait for my son. Big mistake, as usual. He gets to me in a minute, and pretty much rides right on past. I should know better. I can keep up a pretty good pace if… if I keep it up. I am not so good at starting & stopping. In the end, 28-something up Kings, could have been 27-something if I’d just ditched my kid and kept riding.
The excitement came on Skyline, on the long descent into Sky Londa. A couple of guys ahead of me noticed, and avoided, a large rock in the road. Me? I nailed it. I mean really, seriously, nailed it. So hard I thought I must have broken a wheel, or, at the very least, gotten at least one flat out of it. First order of business, slow down and see if I’ve got a flat tire. Eric, who’d been right on my wheel, wasn’t too happy I’d slowed down so quickly, but I didn’t want to see how well I could handle a flat tire at 37mph, if in fact it was flat. Maybe 40 years ago I would have thought differently.
It was really pretty amazing there wasn’t any obvious damage. It was a good-sized rock, but thankfully sandstone (must have been, because I literally obliterated it). I found out a bit later that I’d ejected my water bottle; will have to go back for that on Thursday.
Only obvious downside from two weeks off the bike is a heart rate running about 5 beats higher than normal, but it “tracks” properly (rises and falls with effort, and does so gradually) so nothing I’m too worried about.