26 Aug Humility and sport!
This was Enzo’s second weekend of the 2014 cycling season riding with others. Since Tom Moloney was visiting from Florida, he wanted to ride every day, which I could not do. Having a fondness for the Harper ride, Tom really wanted to go early Saturday morning. I was not super excited but said I would go anyway. The idea of doing Harper with relatively zero fitness was a cocktail for pain and suffering. The more I thought about it the more it sounded fun, allowing people that I have tortured in the past some long awaited payback. Well turns out this happened but none of the normal players were there! The day starts with temps in the low 70’s and a humidity level about 97%, definitely riding in a cloud.
It is a 45 minute ride to meet this ride which then travels back into my training loop of rolling hills. Well it used to be my training ground. I meet Tom half way and we roll and meet up with the group of about 15-20 guys, kind of small for Harper. I have mixed emotions about a small group, not many places to hide. The pace seems fine, but my body was not working very well, super tight so the suffering started early. We were not going fast and I was feeling like a pile. This is new ground for Enzo only having a 14 day base, not much to fall back on.
We roll through the small hills of Barrington though we skipped River road on lap one, which bypasses a few nice rollers and headed directly to Braeburn. This is the biggest hill in the area, not really big with an elevation difference of 110′ in 1/4 mile. None the less, the pace is always increased here to shed off the dead weight and that is exactly what happened. The dead weight was Enzo, riding with the group for the day was over.
Tom was looking back to see I was not trying to reconnect and he sat up, thanks Tom. We rolled around for a while and went to coffee, the highlight of the day. It was really fun spending time with Tom and Karen.
With the small amount of confidence I had now crushed, going into the Sunday Colavita ride was interesting. I drove to Deerfield planning to do the full ride this week instead of meeting them on the road. This would force me to stay connected or pay the price of being dropped, riding back solo! The temps were cool again, with the moisture still quite high. The ride goes smoothly as I feel much better after the first 20 miles. This ride is steady smooth which is very nice for someone with low riding fitness. The times they are rolling fast, I have to dip into my bag of mental tricks in order to stay in the pace line. I suspect the boys have no idea how much I am putting out, since I know how to hide it well. Chip is the only one at the end of the ride that says, that was hard for me, you must have really worked out there. Indeed I did, though it is the type of ride that Enzo needed to gain some base fitness. Thank you to the Colavita’s for the quality, safe pace line riding, which makes the suffering a little more enjoyable.
I find it amusing to be in this place where I have to be conservative while riding unless I will be riding alone! Don’t get me wrong, I have never minded doing solo work on the bike, but on my terms, not being dropped. The idea of being dropped on a ride has not been in my scope for a long time, it is a weird feeling and I am basking in it while it is here.
It sounds like the Bloomington Crit, USAC Illinois State crit championship went well, congratulations to all the 2014 Champions. Safe riding out there boys and girls,too many crazy drivers that are hating cyclists these days.