Brig and I rolled out to the BP ride Sunday morning instead of making the trek out to Tradezone. I was beat from 87 on Saturday, but felt pretty good going into the ride. We were expecting Esmonde, Travis, and Cernich there, but they were no shows for the start...bummer. The group got a late start, but it warmed up enough to take off a layer or two. I was looking forward to this ride as a guage of fitness (Tradezone is too "on" and "off" to be a good test). As we started the climb up Mass, nothing too fast, but I got blocked in on the right by someone coming towards the back while everyone else was moving up the left. I was cold and itching to go, so once the space opened up a little I made my way to the front passed Jose and kept a steady tempo towards the top. This must have sparked the competitive juices, because not a second after I passed Jose he was big ring out of the saddle going past me and taking DCVelo and a couple of others with him (those kids accelerate quick). I kept it steady, and crested a couple of bike lengths behind...a quick glance over my shoulder made it clear that that little attack at the top had splintered the front of the group a bit.
Coming over Mass and making the right turn three of us bridged up to the lead two. I decided at this point that I was going to suffer for a bit and see what the legs and heart were going to let me do. As we joined the lead, I rolled past the front and kept the pace heavy. I was hoping to simulate a little break trying to get away from the main group and took my share of hard pulls as we closed on McArthur. The pace was hard, and since there were only 4 or 5 of us, there wasn't much time to recover (nor to hide...those cyclists are short). As we closed in on the parkway, I saw the colors of R1V up the road...we were catching up to the rest of the guys that were meeting us who had decided to not make the trek up to Silver Spring. Esmonde, Cernich, Trav, Pete, and Charles were all there...let the fun begin. We rolled past them and they jumped on our caravan.
The parkway was fast and a little unorganized at times because of the speed. There weren't enough to hide out in the back for long periods. Whenever someone did, the pace would lull a little and then speed up...there were a couple of efforts that resulted in fighting the wind up to the front instead of holding the lead wheel. I kept trying to take my turns without missing any. I wanted to suffer and see what I could do up Mt. Gate and through the neighborhoods after this effort.
Coming off the parkway I was sitting well. Second wheel, slightly out of breath, not to sore; overall not bad. We hit Mt. Gate and then that's where I remembered why I will never be a "great" cyclist...hills.
Somehow on the day that the Lord created Man, he decided that guys like me were not meant to go uphill fast. Short bursts maybe, but "long" hills..not so fast. Mt. Gate isn't really that long or steep, but it kicked my @ss. It may have been those other bums driving the pace, but I was the bad habit that everyone has been trying to get rid of for all this time.
Man, no hilly races for me this year.
I was on my own through the neighborhood somewhere between the front group and a group behind and stayed there up Anglers. I didn't venture down into Great Falls. No need for pride or anything at this point, just recovery.
Rides like this are great because it reminds you that no matter how strong or fit you think you are, there is always someone else out there that is ready and willing to whip you silly. Those boys are something else. I was glad to see that Cernich, Trav and Esmonde were driving the train (or at least part of it) on the front group...at least someone knows how to push the "up arrow" on the hills.
The rest of the ride was uneventful. Young Bax was there and showed why he is awesome, taking the Democracy sprint solo by a mile. I think E got the field sprint. Overall, I think the clock said 67 or so mile for the day...not a bad weekend.