Thursday, May 21, 2009

Group ride and other things.

Sorry for no pictures.

This week marked the opening of West Branch and Medina and also the start of the summer group ride schedule. So it's been a pretty busy week for me on the bike. Before I worked the dinner shift at work on Monday I went through and overhauled my drivetrain. Got xt derailleurs (front and rear) and shifter and all new cables. It was a longer task than I expected mainly because while everything was off the bike I figured it was the perfect time to give the bike a thorough cleaning. Monday was the official opening of West Branch so I had to go out there Tuesday.

I have very mixed feelings about West Branch. It's the closest longer trail to my house and it's a decent trail, but for some reason I don't get excited about it. It has roots and rocks and hills and descents and some tricky technical stuff but I never come away excited about the ride like I do at other trails. I also tend to hurt myself on that trail. So I went out there Tuesday to give it another go, maybe with my endurance and skills progressing over the winter I might enjoy it more.

I get out there and within a half mile I misjudge a descent and end up in a tree. This gives me an incredible Charley horse on the inside of my thigh. I finish lakeside and I'm feeling good so I head over to Rock Gorge. I'm doing well and clearing stuff I didn't clear last year, still can't get up the hill after the river crossing but still feeling good about it. I'm cruising along a flat section and clip a tree with my handlebars which sends me over the bars. I get up and soldier on. Still feeling good I head over to Bit O' Honey. Why I don't know. Last year towards the end of August I fell on this trail and hurt myself pretty badly. Today was no different, in fact where I fell is where I had fallen on that ride last year. Once again I banged up my knee which I've been icing since then and is healing nicely.

Wednesday was the return of my favorite group ride. CAMBA holds a group ride every Wednesday at Reagan Park. Almost always a good turnout and it's a great course. Last year I was a solid mid-to front of the B group. I had debated what ride to do before hand because of the knee injury so I arrived early and did a lap of the Huffman Park Trail. I felt great, no knee pain and I had energy. So I decided on the A group. Nancy Desmond led the A group and played sweeper and I took the front to set the pace. I set out a little below race pace, I wasn't sure of the tempo so I figured a little below would work. Hit the first climb at Huffman and looked behind me and no one was there.I had gapped the A group, the group on the one ride that I was off the back of and barely held on last year, and today I was pulling away from them, this would be how the entire evening went.

I kept having to set up and cool my tempo. I'm not saying I was faster than the people in the A group, because I know there are fast riders in there, Johnny P, Robert Shroka, Mike Farley, Nancy Desmond, all riders who are fast and quick. It was just that day I was feeling great. I know the course better than any course, my bike was in the best condition and lightest it's been. I don't know what it was but I just never tired and did the entire 10 miles in the big ring.

Today I went to West Branch for another CAMBA group ride. And boy did I not feel good. Three days of hard riding had down it's damage. I hung onto the A group for the entire Lake Side loop. Towards the end I ran into my team mate Mike and we rode the Lake Side loop backwards. He was flying and my tired legs felt like lead.

This weekend I will be doing the Vultures Knob race, and either Mohican State Park or The Valley Death Ride.

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