Friday, February 19, 2010

No Chalk Candy Hearts Ride (2/14/10)

View No chalky candy hearts Ride in a larger map

Distance: 86 Miles

Difficulty: Easy

Ride: Cambridge, Somerville, Arlington, Lexington, Lincoln, Concord, Acton, Littleton

I know when the callendar flips to winter and the middle of February comes, the thing most people think of is - long bike rides.

The Charles River Wheelmen were doing a 45 mile Valentine's Day Ride leaving from Lincoln. I figured I'd tag along to that ride.

Lincoln of course is at least 15 miles from my house, so I had to ride there first. In my typical last possible second style I left Central Square at 9:15 with a little over an hour to ride out to Lincoln. With my cold legs churning through the cold February air I had difficulty moving my body but I created my mantra:

Throwing out what was a blistering pace for me, I rode up Mass Ave into Arlington and hopped onto the Minuteman into Lexington and took the surface roads out. I was unable to stop at my usual break-point, Paul Revere's Capture Site as I had no time.

Taking the tough hills of Bedford Road and Lincoln Road, I got to the ride with seconds to spare, riders were already leaving. As they started going by me, I asked:

As I had not brought a cue sheet, I had to hop on with these guys - with no knowledge of speeds, etc. The lack of knowledge and experience in these group rides is one of the detriments to my cycling skills. I have never tried to stay with another experienced rider. So now as we rode through the Lincoln Woods and Walden Pond, I had to push myself to keep up in some points but then only have to slow myself down in others.

At one point my computer started to malfunction (or not function). I split myself from the group and "repaired" the computer. (I wiggled the cable that was loose). But now I had to make up ground and was back to throwing down a blistering pace.

As things shook out, soon after the split off of the 45-miler and the 30-miler, It was only a guy Peter and I riding in our "group." I tried to just follow him and keep up. At times I was able to get my speed up or beyond his as I kept on his wheel. And, it turned out, he was a great one of these club cyclists with whom to ride.

We finished up the ride. Peter offered me a lift as far as Watertown, but I was actually looking forward to my ride back to Cambridge with only myself to account for. I hung out with Thoreau at Walden Pond for a few minutes and then enjoyed a pretty leisurely ride down 62 and the Minuteman back to Cambridge.

83 miles in 7.25 hours - 11.86 mph. While this is nowhere near the pace of 13.75 mph that I want to achieve by September; it's a good time for my second long ride of the year.

This coming weekend, I either want to throw down a century on Saturday or maybe a 50/50 on Saturday and Sunday.

No comments:

Post a Comment