Under overcast skies with nice temps(4-8C)the club sent off five groups this morning. It was a great early season turnout with about about 25+ riders ranging in skills from the racers to the recreational riders.
Road conditions were good and mostly dry but with the usual pothole issues always found on Nova Scotian roads during Spring. In general the route survived the winter fairly well with the exception of certain trouble spots. Once you managed to bypass these rough sections it was clear sailing.
I left the shop with the third group on the road. Comprised of strong riders we had a steady group setting an easy-moderate tempo out to Fall River. Both M and R opted to bypass Windsor Junction and the Fall River hill so we met up with them at the consolidation at Sobeys after the usual diaspora caused by the steepest climb of the route.M is only recently back on the bike after the winter and R has a 20+ kilometer(marathon)training run on Sunday.
As usual I fell off the pace once on the climb and after passing Z(who usually kicks my butt but was riding(strong)on a heavy, knobby tired cyclocross bike today)I completed the ascent solo. As always it hurt but considering it is only March and I only completed 2 rides so far in 2009 it was a good sign that my winter conditioning program(somewhat)worked.Once Z is back on her Colnago I am sure I will be watching her ride away from me up the Fall River Hill as usual.....lol.
The jaunt out to Laurie Park was a moderate-fast pace in a smaller group of four riders.Heading past the one kilometer to go sign A gave me a nice leadout as second rider so I pushed hard on the rise just before the park. It felt good to push the legs in sprint like conditions. R passed me on the run in to the park so,obviously, the marathon training has also benefitted his bike fitness.He is riding well.
The return to Bedford found me in a group of 4 riders with another group of four just behind us. No doubt we were the rabbits for the following group of strong cyclists. K joked about us maintaining 40kph but with the tailwind we actually were close to that speed. My intent was not to push too hard this early in the season but both K and S are in wicked early season form. By Waverley I was hanging on,suffering and "on the rivet".We lost G at some point and down to three riders it was a torrid pace(for me anyway)heading on to Rocky Lake road. There was no doubt I was the weakest rider and on the climb after the first train tracks I was gapped by both K and S. At that point the pursuing group also passed me and I was in trouble until I saw E coming off the back. I managed to grab his wheel and we attempted to bridge the gap but by that point the fast boys were ramping up the tempo for the usual Rocky Lake race back to the shop.
Just past Powdermill Lake S eased up and that gave E and I the opportunity to bridge over and the three of us continued the pursuit. We never did catch the fast boys but the hard effort found us joining them at the set of lights entering Bedford.At that point the concept of time was the last thing on my mind but it felt good to push hard right to the end and limit the time loss....whatever it was.
It was a good day on the bike. I ended up with 46 kilometers with a 30.8 average.Not to bad for a March ride. The best thing is my tweaked groin gave me no issues whatsoever.Yippee!
Geos thumbs up.........
S - for easing up and pulling E and I back to the shop.
A - thanks for the great leadout heading into Laurie Park.