Finally I got back on the bike this week...although it wasn't much.
I rode the bike in on Tuesday hoping to make it out to Hains Point for lunch, but work didn't allow it. So I rode 5 miles after work with a trip up Capitol Hill. At this point, I'm counting that as "training".
Yesterday, the weather man told me it was going to be 50 degrees...it wasn't. I brought the bike in anyway and thought what the heck, I'll go out at lunch with all my gear on and do a couple of laps until I get dropped by those who actually ride their bicycle as opposed to look at it in their dining room. The ride was good. I had an 11:00 am meeting that almost resulted in my throttling of a lady (not normally my style, but it was almost warranted).
I showed up to the point a little late, with some derailleur problems, a full head of steam, and pent up work induced aggression. The pace was slow, and as always, there was somebody screaming about "...it's only December 19th, what are you doing!?!" when the pace started creeping above 18 mph. Seriously, the C rides and the lazy Sunday coffee shop rides are for taking it easy...45 minutes of lunch time at Hains Point is for one thing and one thing only...having your @ss handed to you by those who are in better shape than you are. If you want to putz around at 18mph, do so, but don't insist on everyone else doing it as well...
Anyway, the minute he said that I went to the front and pushed the pace above 24 to try to get something started. A small group of about 6 or 7 formed and we pacelined in the wind for about 40 minutes (they might have gone longer, but lack of fitness had the better of me and decided when I was supposed to go back to work).
Lessons learned from yesterday:
1) Riding in the wind sucks.
2) If you're working with a group and trying to keep it away/alive, you gotta take your turn at the front...even if it is just for a second. The mental break of having a wheel to hide behind after a hard pull is just enough to get you ready to get back up to the front and keep the pace on. Leaving someone out there to break wind (the other kind) is ruthless. I know there are times when strategy says you should do it, but during training or when you're really trying to keep a break away, take your pull...help out (I was at fault a couple of times).
3) When pulling through to the front, don't attack the guy/gal who just made the effort (unless you really want to break him/her) so as to force them to chase the group once everyone pulls through. The effort they make to get back on usually makes them useless the next time their pull comes time.
4) Did I mention riding in the wind sucks?
Anyway, we're off to Michigan for the holidays...they just got 10 inches of snow, so no bike on this trip. One of my New Year's resolution is going to be to ride my bicycle more. January 3rd is the beginning of le amateur domestiques' true training...