Cannon Cruise

Well, I should have expected this. Not a good day today. I've had way too many good days/rides thus far this season. Felt great mentally and I thought physically too, but my legs were just flat. There were a few guys from another club that met up with us today. They're faster riders, so the pace was quicker. By about mile 20 I was ready to turn around and go home. I was fine and fast, then struggling to keep 16 mph pace. Then fast again. I'm not sure what was going on, but I couldn't find the right gear, got stuck at the back of the pack where (what I call) the "slinky effect" is at it's worst. Fast, then slow. Fast, then brakes. Shift up, shift down. Draft, then get lost by the pack. All day was like this. Couldn't wait to get back to the truck and head home. Oh well, this day was coming, glad it's over now and hopefully will not happen again for awhile.


Yo, Nizzle, Drizzle in My Grizzle

Remus stopped in for a ride last night. We had been watching the weather all day. Of course, I assured him that it would be all dry and done raining by the time we started off...which was false. Once we got wet, it didn't matter much, but at one point riding directly into the heavy drizzle complete with headwind, it was borderline retarded to be out. Oh well. It has been literally 10+ years since I've been on a bike riding next to my friend. It was classic and we had a good time. Will try and meet up with each other once a month or so.


Cannon Cruise

I knew going into today that I wanted some "extra" miles, so I was planning on riding to, then back from the meeting point for the weekly Cannon Cruise. Usually we do between 40-50 miles on Saturdays, so the extra 27 I thought would be a nice total of 70-ish. Well, Cannon Cruise turned out to be 64 miles, plus my 27. So I just went ahead and ripped off a nice 91 miles. Family didn't care, we had absolutely nothing planned for the weekend, perfect for Father's Day.

It was a brisk, cool morning. Absolutely NO breeze whatsoever. Sun was coming up, slight fog in the low spots. The feelings, sights, smells and sounds (pure quiet) took me immediately to Tent City USA, Luther MI - of which I will be visiting very soon. (actually, not soon enough)

Today, I led my first official pace line. Pulled along 5 men and 1 woman for probably 5 miles or so. When I was done, I relinquished my lead spot and got several "good pull" comments. Today, I also decided I was going to get myself embedded into the "action" a little more too. Usually I just stay to the back since I'm kinda new at this. Instead I was in the front, middle and rear portions of the group. Group rides have way more positives than negatives for me. However, one annoying negative that I just can't get over is that others just don't ride completely like how I've taught myself to ride and attack hills. Noth their fault I guess - everyone is different. Everyone pedals down the hills (fine - you're supposed to), but they don't engage in attacking the hill until they are actually ON the incline. So then everyone has to slow down and you merely just end up "riding" (and struggling) up the hill instead of "blazing" up the hill. The pain may be more intense the way I do it, but it's also shorter and you can leave others in the dust quickly. I took it upon myself to not just conform with the group and when things slowed down, I would make my move, bust out the side of the group and fly up the hills. I know I was getting stares as I floored it past everyone. I also found a chance to break my last top speed record and set a new 39 mph record - still poking at 40+. Need some!!

Part of our ride today was on my most favorite road in the area; Red Pine Drive. I would ride up and down that road for 8 hours a day, every day if I could.

I became lost sheep for the first time today too. The leader was gone (presumably riding his own route by now) and as I passed one other guy, I missed the turn off. He was shouting at me, but there was too much wind. It was on a giant decent and I was just hammering down the gaz, turned around expecting him there. Nothing. Hmmm...that's not right. I better head back (uphill, of course) and there they were waiting for me. HA - thanks guys for waiting for my dumba$$.

When I'm back in Cedar Springs, I always make a point of riding through downtown. My legs are always juiced up with more gaz to spend (ENERGY LEGS!!!) and I like to impress all the sweatpants-wearing 400 lb women riding their Rascal scooters to go get the their pack of smokes and six-packs with government money. (It's a sickness of mine to want to crush all of their faces in with my Tour de France speed wind - leaving them in my wake. Blowing them away with invisible wind waves (like sound waves)) Anyways, traveling along a good clip, look back to get into the turn lane before coming up to the red light. A guy rolls up next to me wearing a Rescue/Fire hat and uniform and says "Doing a good clip there. Averaging about 25 mph." He had been following me this whole time. HA HA....I shrugged and said "Yup, I know. Gotta do speed limit ya know." He just chuckled, wished me a good day and was gone.


Sand Lake Sprint

Great night for a quick ride. By the looks of it, I haven't done the "Sand Lake Sprint" since early April. Wanted to do it once a month to keep track of progress. Pushed hard tonight...cut over 2:30 off my time and this is the first time I averaged speeds in the 20's. 20.4mph to be exact. Good ride, wish I had time for more. Plan to get some miles in early Saturday.


Indiana Blows

Wanted to get in two rides this weekend, but the weather was not optimal, and when it was half-way decent I had family things going on. So I only managed one ride Sunday am - damn it was windy. It was strong enough coming out of the north that on my east-west travels I had to actually lean against it to stay upright. Retarded. Saw a giant leatherback turtle sunning himself in the road in Indiana. It must have been 12-16" across in the shell. It's neck was jacked up in the air about 8" as I zipped past it. Those things are weird.


100 Grand

This was the Rapid Wheelmen sponsored 100 Grand ride today. I woke up excited and got there early. Wanted to wait around for the guys I rode with Thursday, but they weren't supposed to arrive for another 30 minutes, so I just took off. Morning started off stupendous. Cool, slight breeze, lots of riders busting out. Told myself that if I didn't push hard and ride well, I would not even go in to pick up my team jersey - I didn't deserve it - so I had to perform well.

As I was getting prepared, I was looking around at the "cycling community". You know, for some healthier people, we are rather odd and goofy looking. No wonder we get picked on by the general public. Spandex as far as the eye can see. Most sights are not that appealing either. HA! Anyways, there was some guy getting ready parked right in front of me, he was lathering all up in SPF 800 - had it all caked on his face and arms. It was pasty white, like frosting. Way too much! OMG, it was Jeremy Buller, circa 1997 Daytona Beach. No way his skin was going to absorb all of that coating. As I checked him out more, he was LOADED up with bananas, snack bars, gels and only god knows what else. There was a 141 mile route, but maybe he was planning on doing 400+?? Not sure. Oh, and he had a blinky tail light. I'm pretty dorky, but he was taking things to a whole 'nuther level.

Anyways, the ride was stupendous. Lots of turns and ups and downs. Roads were smooth as butter, a great planned route. I found myself so intrigued with the landscape, houses, and other riders that the miles were just clicking off. I could spot people up ahead a mile or so, and plan on passing them within minutes. At least it seemed that way. I was doing a lot of passing though. I don't know if I've finally dialed in my nutrition and fluid needs or what, but I felt like I was crushing the course. Legs were strong and pistons ready to fire off horsepower all day. Rode in the drops a ton, it was windy. My shifts were dead on. Pounded the hills. Just everything today went 100% great. Had a few people draft off me at points - sometimes for miles a time, then I'd turn around and they were gone. I was riding flats between 20 and 22mph all day long like it was nothing.

As I was leaving lunch break, I saw my comrades from the Thursday Cannon Cruise, they were just rolling in. I talked with them for a bit and I was off. Legs were a little shaky after that longer rest, but the hills on Peach Ridge Rd took care of that quickly. This road was brutal. Lots of large climbs and decents. Just sat in the saddle and pounded away at them - into the wind of course. I was still passing people - even on the climbs. And I'm NOT a climber. Was it just this strange day, where I was in the zone, or am I actually getting accustomed to and getting better at climbing? I hope the latter. I used to absolutely fear hills, now they fear me.

Heat was getting pretty unbearable at this point. Still windy, but nudging up on 87+ degrees and a LOT of humidity. At one point I was wishing I could do more miles, but by the end, it was just right. That heat would have killed me.

Got back to the truck, unloaded all my gear, grabbed some orange slices, picked up my team jersey and was off headed back home. I still had plenty of energy to play in the sprinkler with Marissa and hang out with the family. If I could have left for the ride 30 min earlier today and taken 10 min less of a rest at the stops, I would have not missed Marissa's last soccer game. That was the only disappointment of the day.

700 miles total on the year so far. Well on my way to 2,000.

Elevation chart shows the sharp incline around mile 45 after the lunch break.
Hills were giant, but I conquered all. Only a few had me begging for air
and more power, but it was over so fast I can't remember the pain now.

My average moving speed was 17.8 for the entire ride.
That's stupendous for such a hilly course.
I love numbers.


Cannon Cruise - Group Ride

(Last night) what an unbelievably excellent night for a group ride. Little to no wind, 70's temps and no humidity. Group ride with the club, 9 of us total. Knew some of the guys, not some of the others. One technical glitch I had was that my water bottles were wonderfully cold. What? You say. That's a problem? Oh yeah, only when they're left at work in the refrigerator and I'm 17 miles away all geared up and ready to go. All I had was a peanut butter and jelly sammich. I was feeling the effects of dehydration only 5 miles in. Headache, dry mouth. It did subside later, or maybe I just got used to it. Actually glad one guy got a flat about at the 20 mile mark, so we all got to take about a 15 min break. Needed that. Although, I was wrecked at about 10pm and through the night from dehydration. Didn't sleep well. Anyways, this was a good ride - back in the saddle after almost 1.5 weeks out of it. Good warm up for the ride tomorrow...64 miles. Love being back out there again.