We hooked up again with the gang from the Caloosa Riders club for this morning’s ride. The group was substantially larger this time, with twenty-some riders in all. As before, this was supposed to be a recovery ride, but with our group speed never really dropping below 21 MPH, it was more workout than recovery.
We reached the Coconut Point mid point in under an hour, maintaining an average speed of over 21 MPH and then sat down for some spirited conversations at Panera Bread. These guys an gals really have some great cycling backgrounds and stories. For example we met a young woman, only 52 years young, who wakes every morning at 4am to run 6 miles and then jump on her bike for another 40 plus miles! She’s headed to visit her Niece in Spain for a few weeks and is worried that she will gain weight from all the rich foods, so she is planning plenty of running and cycling while there. Heck, if I were headed to Spain, the last thing I’d be worried about is gaining weight, instead saying “mas paella y vino por favor”.
Once everyone refueled on coffee and bagels, we gathered our gear and got ready for the return ride home. Curiously, the group voluntarily split in two even before we had left the parking lot. Apparently they knew that this so called recovery ride was about to kick it up big time. Señor J and I stayed with the lead group, perhaps about 10 riders in all, which departed at a very leisure pace, but once on the main boulevard, we all angrily stomped on our pedals, constantly increasing our pace down Three Oaks.
We slowly started to drop riders as speeds pushed past 25 MPH. Once past Daniels Parkway there were only five of us left, yet we continued to increase the pace. My speedo was showing speeds over 28 MPH when we lost another rider, leaving us with four. I was determined not to get dropped this time, staying in a tight aero tuck and making sure my pulls up front were hard, fast and short. Quality over quantity is key with this group, especially at these speeds.
The four of us coasted into the finish at the SweetBay Market, congratulating each other on the good…..no strike that, great ride back. The RAGBRAI veteran, whom I mentioned last week, gave me a high five and then jokingly mentioned that I have to take it easy on him because he is an “old man”. I know better, because last time he dropped me and never looked back! See, I’m catching on to the ways of these wily guys. I look forward to the next ride.
Ride Time: 1:58:09
Stopped Time: 42:29
Distance: 38.20 miles
Average: 19.40 mph
Fastest Speed: 28.34 mph
Ascent: 304 feet
Descent: 354 feet