Saturday, April 2, 2011

Massaging the tender male ego

First group ride with Piedmont Flyers Bicycle Club. The club hs a number of different ride groups, based on average speed traveled, ranging from a beginner, social ride that rides 22-27kph, a 27-32kph group, a 32-37kph group and a 37+ kph group. I figured that this would give me something to strive for over the summer: moving up a category. However, given the debacle that was the TMK ride a few weeks ago, and to avoid any  further bruising of my tender ego, I decided my first ride would be with the 22-27kph social ride group. I'm currently on the cusp of the two groups and given my poor climbing ability, and the ride route for the 27-32 group, I was almost certain that I would be dropped early in the ride and I didn't think I could handle that.

I was glad I did. The people were really nice and several invited me to come ride with them on Saturday for a 70-80 K ride which was the distance I've been riding lately so it has a lot to recommend it. My only concern was that it may be too slow for my interests but I would make that decision after the ride and got a feel for how fast these folks were riding.

I ended up in a group that rode toward the faster end of the spectrum and it was really fun. There were four of us and our leader did an awesome job pacing. No yo-yoing up the hills, just a nice steady pace that two of us went in front of on some climbs and tucked in behind on the flats. She also indicated that she had ridden with the next group up and been dropped but was interested in doing again so when I try the other group I'll have a partner of similar ability to commissurate with on the climbs.

There were also lots of conversations about other group rides that I may try a little later. One in particular sounds like fun. It does several laps with each lap being faster than the last but because there are so many riders and it is not far from the beginning of the ride it will not be too demoralizing to get dropped while providing a good incentive to improve and make one more lap on later weeks.

At the end of the ride it looks like the Saturday ride will be too slow for my interests and even the faster group was a little slow for me but on days when I'm just interested in practicing pulling, and other group work this should be a good group to go with. I'm a little nervous about trying the next group up but I just need to suck it up and try and hope there will be someone to ride with when/if I get dropped too badly.

Fun group and ride on nice roads.

Distance: 30 km
Speed:  24.53 kmh
Cadence:  80 rpm
AVG HR:  131 bpm
Weight:  201.8 lbs

No comments: