Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Suffer Fest V.1

After 5 years of living in La Crosse, I have finally given into peer pressure and went out with the Tuesday night go fast road group.

The ride started late due to a flat tire someone got while in the parking lot. After he changed it, we headed over to La Crescent. The pace started to pick up as we headed to the beginning of Apple Blossom hill. I figured I would just drift from mid pack and head to the back. The hill came and I started to spin up the hill. I passed a couple of people and then hopped on to Bob's wheel. We motored up the hill at a pretty good pace. About halfway up the hill I still had a gear left. I was feeling way good. In the end, I think I was fifth up the hill.

We waited at the top of the hill forever. Someone in the back had caught a flat. After we regrouped the pace was nice and steady, somewhere in the 24mph range. Then things started to get a bit squirrelly up front. I drifted to the back, and then someone came screaming by all the way up to the front. EPU said "Hop on" and then all of a sudden the group was going 30+MPH. I dropped off the back shortly after.

EPU dropped back to pull me back to the group, but they were gone. We also picked up Josh along the way and took turns pulling, with EPU doing most of the work.

We caught up to Bob and Jeff and EPU, Josh, and I decided we would take a short cut to spin easy and recover. We cut off about 3-4 miles and then waited a bit for the group to catch up to us. Josh and I ended out early and EPU waited back. Josh and I averaged about 24 through the flats and little rollers, after a while Josh ditched the route and went off on his own to climb another hill. I held course. After bit, a group of 4 passed me. I wasn't able to hold on through the flats, but was able to gain ground on the hills. Another group of two came by, I pulled them for a bit, and then they took off. Did that again for another group too.

We were in a good roller section now and I started to real them in. I ended up finishing on the tail end of the group by the time we got into town. Of course they slowed up a bit since the end was near, but I was happy that I stuck with it and finished up there (despite my short cut)

All and All it was a good ride. I do alright holding on as long as the pace is around the 26-28 MPH range, anything after that I don't have the legs yet. I was super happy with my climbing. I was told that the group was wonkey tonight as everyone is still figuring out what the hell to do for pace on these rides yet. I will give the group ride a shot again in two weeks, but if there is too much of the going 23mph and then all of a sudden going 30mph, I don't think I will do it again. I need a ride where the average pace is around 25 mph and the effort remains steady.

Many thanks to EPU for showing me the ropes and pulling my slow ass for so long.


Blogger BobBlogBob said...

The Tuesday rides are sort of a free flowing event. It is everything from people making it a race and trying to beat down others to people just surviving. The great thing about it is you learn something almost every time. It's like life that way. It's never easy and there is always someone that will try to make things better, faster, or get in your way.
The changes in speed was in relation to the wind many times and some of the riders that got hit by a wall when they tried to pull through. We also had some other issues that really p@#44 me off. Most of has to do with either the wrong people waiting at times to no one waiting. It is a big problem when the guys that get shelled have to chase back and the group thinks they are doing them a favor by continuing to roll up the road at 17 mph while they recover. Only to pin it again when those chasing get back on.
The rides will always have accelerations and decelerations. For the most part they are safe. The best thing about them is that you may think you have it pinned and someone comes around you forcing you to take it up that extra bit and recover. Those are things that you can never do in interval training on your own.

Hope to see you back and many others.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Happy Mutant said...

Bob- I will be back and look forward to many of the rides. I look forward to the Tuesday night rides to make me faster, and I know that group will do it for sure. The wind was a bytch and it is early in the year yet. I know they will get better. They are great for training and itis going to be a fun year.

6:04 PM  

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