I've never done this ride before...it's awesome.
Granted, I'm using "Awesome" in a different way than discovering you have free cable when first moving in or realizing that you're someway related to an aging billionaire. This ride kicked my @ss. Compared to the 7:00 am ride the 10 is longer, harder, has less (read "none") regroup spots, and has a much more challenging terrain. The "group" is more selective, and becomes even more selective as the ride takes shape. All in all, this ride is the "measuring stick" of fitness and a great way to see where you're at at any point in the season.
After a week of nothing, I showed up for the 10 and met up with Cernich, Elder Lumm, and Ted. The Muscle, Papa Jay, Clif, Carlos, Bax (old and young) were all there too which looked like it was going to be a hurt session. I hung on for a while, but a car/bike accident involving Artemis Jay (good to hear he's okay) split up everything early. I ended up alone in the middle chasing the lead pack and eventually grouping up with Cernich (after he dropped a chain).
Cernich and I got a little system going and kept the tempo on for the rest of the ride, eventually picking up guys that dropped off the lead pack. Cernich is a motor right now. I felt bad not being able to take my turns at the front (or at least make them last for more than a minute), but C looked content hammering out tempo. Scott is going to be dangerous this year...watch out (I'm glad I'm on his team).
The ride ended up being around 62 miles from door to door (with about 15 of that being getting to and from the ride from home). I was sore all Sunday, but still managed a short ride in the afternoon. Total for the week 98 miles.
Overall feeling of status:
1) I feel like two good weeks of training (200+ miles) will put me right where I want to be for the start of the season. The power is there, just need to build some leg confidence.
2) The speed is coming. I did the big efforts trying to make a couple of lights on Sunday and the explosiveness is better than it was a month ago. The leadout machine isn't dialed in yet, but it will be soon.
3) Cliff (doubled up on Saturday), BLumm, and Cernich are all putting in some serious miles and should make racing in the 3's this year awesome. Hopefully Little E is preparing for the 2's as well, and maybe we can make some noise in a 1,2,3 race as well.
All in all, I'm positive and feeling good about things these past days...cheers.