Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What was I thinking? Lessons learned

WTF? What was I thinking? I would be shortly be OTB.

I've been riding with some really strong riders this summer, and I've learned a lot from them and gotten stronger in the process. Although, I still need to work on being "patient" and heeding PM's winning strategy of "manipulate whoever I'm with into doing more work".

So, on a recent Wed Hill Ride, I planned to practice this concept of "patience". The ride is usually a suffer-fest since all the riders are really strong climbers and it consists of 5 good climbs; Mnt Gate, Anglers, GFPark, Brickyard and Eggert. Note: I don't count Goldsboro since we usually do this at sub-warp speed.

Should have listened to Jay's advice during yesterday's ride: "sitting on your wheel will require great patience".

For about 85% of the ride, I sat in and didn't go hard on any of the climbs. I felt strong on Mnt Gate, Anglers, and GF Park, but my right hip was bothering me a bit. I've been having problems with it lately, and it's probably related to my back issues. After coming down Anglers, Jay goes screaming past everyone carrying a lot of momentum onto the flat section. Ad says "I'm not chasing him, he's on my team". So the three of us up front looked at each other and let him go. I was really tempted to go after him but kept hearing "be patient" ringing in my head. Then, I think, George goes hard on the left side followed by young Russ and then I jump on Russ's wheel. As we caught Jay about half way to Brickyard, we slowed up and that's when the evil gremlins started yelling in my ear (or maybe it was Paul whispering behind me) "don't slow up, go as hard as you can and you'll get a break away going". So I jumped hard and I felt really good, legs felt strong, HR under control. Not sure what kind of gap I had rounding the left on Brickyard, but about half way to the steep section I couldn't shift into my small ring and lost a bunch of momentum. Just about this time, the gremlins came back in my head yelling "sucker..., you should have listened to Jay". Next thing I know, the train led by Paul went storming past me and all I could do was watch as Paul hammered up the steep section putting everyone in his wake in deep trouble. I was OTB and hurting. I couldn't get any RPMs going and slowly drifted off the back.

So much for "being patient". I guess its not really that smart to attack before the steepest climb on the ride. But, the more I do this, the stronger I'll get and then one day, I'll be strong enough to stay away.


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