Saturday morning brought sunny skies but it was brisk with windchill temps around -17C. I had decided I was gonna ride come Hell or high water so off I went to the shop for the 10AM club ride.
I was not planning on riding with the fast(winter)guys for my first ride of the year so I was hoping there would be a showing of some of the intermediate riders. If not I would have just gone our solo to scope out how well the pavement survived the winter. Recon the new potholes.....lol.
Turned out both E and S arrived and said they were doing a more moderate ride out to Enfield. Sweet! Both are experienced, solid riders and good fellas. Perfect riding companions to shake off the rust of a long winter. We all left together in one group but it quickly became aparent that the tempo of the fast guys was akin to race pace. After my pull I noticed both E and S dropped back so I joined them rather than latch on the back of the paceline.
We had a great ride out to Enfield with the benefits of a tail wind. At one point I was third man in the paceline and soft pedaling at 46kph. Sweet! I attacked the Fall River Hill and,on the tougher return to the shop(headwinds),the S bend climb past Powdermill lake. For me the litmus test of fitness is how well I climb.Time to test the winter training plan. The Fall River Hill always make me suffer and I climbed it surprisingly well yesterday.Yippee! That is definitely a good sign.
The smaller climb past the Powdwermill Lake on the Rockey Lake road is not long nor steep but has some bite as it leads into a false flat. It`s also the spot where the tempo usually picks up for the "unofficial" race into Bedford.I also rode it well.Nice!
Overall it was a great start to the season. The race schedule looks good, the club seems prime for a good cycling season and my fellow club members all seem motivated and keen.
The only drawback is I now have cycling fever bad and having to head to the gym for Sunday afternoon ball hockey was difficult. It was sunny and warm with afternoon temps of 8C. Perfect early season riding weather. That said I got off to a slow start but found my form midway through the first match. Backstopped by some excellent goaltending we ralled to win the first game 10-8. I also played well in the second game to record a 10 -7 win and swept the day with a 4-1 victory as time ran out.My second half record now stands at 15-10.
With all due respect to my fellow clubmates I hope it rains for the next month of Sundays so my commitment to my ball hockey will be easier to complete...lol(wink)