Various people in my race club sponsor weekly events. There are Saturday rides and Sunday Ladies rides and Wednesday night runs and now that the days are longer, Thursday night rides are back. I really needed to get on my pony and go but I was pretty intimidated to go out with this particular group. However, faced with the choice of spending quality time with Coach Troy and going for a ride on a beautiful evening I had to at least entertain the latter.
I sent email to the guy who was leading and asked about the ride. He described it as a ride up ‘Dog Hill’ and I really needed to understand EXACTLY what that meant. He told me it was no big whoop and they used it most of the time to practice riding while staying in the saddle so I thought, “fine – I’ll go”.
I left work early yesterday because I was so exhausted – just fatigued. I’ve had a lot of that lately but I have not had the nasty crud that is ruining everyone else’s life (that sound you hear is me, knocking on wood) so I assume my body is fighting it off. Anyhow, I came home and lay down for a power nap. Then the alarm went off the conversation in my head went like this:
Gallant: Get up – time to go for a ride
Goofus: Oh no – I’m so tired. I don’t think I should go
Gallant: Get up – put the bike in the car
Goofus: I don’t think so – I think I have a sore throat and besides, I’ll get dropped like a bad date in the first 2 miles
Gallant: PUT THE BIKE IN THE CAR!!!
Goofus: I can’t do it. I can’t – too humiliating
Gallant: Just put the effing bike in your effing car and start driving!
Goofus: Oh man.. oh no…. oh God… PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME GO!
Goofus: Okay fine – I’ll put the bike in the car.
And I did. I put the bike in the car along with the helmet, the shoes, leg warmers, arm warmers and gloveS. I had on shorts and a short sleeve cycling jersey and a wind breaker.
I just about cooked in my car. It was pretty warm out.
When I got there the first person to greet me was a woman who had been recommended to me as a coach. Great. Most of the the rest of the riders have done Ironman. Oh boy…. But I got on the bike and I rode. I kept up with them for a while, too and I thought “Stud!” But then we hit a hill and away they went and there I was – way behind everyone and all alone. And you know what? I didn’t care. I just rode the fastest I could ride.
Dog Hill was not so bad and I realized that a year ago I would have granny geared it up the entire time. As it was I used the small chain ring twice in 4 miles of climbing – go me! Dog Hill was an out and back and just before I got to the end the group started coming back the other way. They were gracious enough to claim they had just gotten there themselves (fer shrue) and told me to go ahead and get to the turn around. That was very nice.
The way back was mostly down and I mostly kept up with people. It was really fun! And I rode. And Coach Troy will just have to find some other blind date.