This was my first training ride. Good weather for it, not hot at all, not very humid (for once), and a decent breeze. Tom picked me up at 6:40AM and we drove to the River West Festival area for the ride start. When we got there, we met up with about 10-15 other Team Superior members, and about 10 minutes later, we were off.
When you ride in a large group, there’s certain dynamics that you don’t experience riding by yourself. One of those is the envelope of air that comes when 30-odd people are bunched together moving at 20mph. It feels like you barely need to pedal! Though etiquette says you should adjust your cadence to match the pace-line. It’s also a little unnerving not being able to see much of the road ahead of you. Most of what you see is a wall of jerseys and spandex. On a bike path it’s not too bad, but on the road, you never know crack might be there to ruin your ride.
Another thing I’ll have to get comfortable with is putting my trust in other riders. When you’re drafting or in a large pace line, you’re pretty close to the bike(s) in front of you, and the bikes behind you are right there on your tail. You have to keep a steady line – not weaving left or right – so that you don’t throw off the rider behind you, and my hands were twitchy wanting to be ready in case I had to slow down for the bike ahead of me. Of course, if you start to slow down, the bike behind you might end up being the bike on top of you. :p So it’s an interesting balance.
Had a rest stop about 15 miles in to the ride, sponsored by the Cox Cable team, at a place called Lake Sahoma. Very pretty down there. The second half of the ride contained some pretty good-sized hills, and I found myself using lower gears I haven’t used in some time. All told, the ride felt pretty good. Can’t wait to get out there again.
Total Distance: 35.3 mi
Total Time: 2:35:29
Moving Time: 2:07:20
Average Moving Speed: 16.6 mi/h
Max Speed: 31.6 mi/h
Min Elevation: 587 ft
Max Elevation: 951 ft
Elevation Gain: 1374 ft
Max Grade: 9 %
Min Grade: -7 %