What was I thinking? I haven't been on the bike for over two weeks. I would rather do the AV "B" ride on Saturdays, but it doesn't work with my schedule. I can ride on Sunday mornings, but the A ride is for the serious riders. I thought I could at least hang with them until Portola.
Meet at Peet's at 8:30. Parked right outside the store on State. Nice. There were already about a dozen people there. Got my bike, got my gear. Wait around a bit and some tall guy comes out of the store and says, "Everyone ready?!" The group does a collective grunt and we're off.
Find myself riding next to a guy named Greg. We chat it up a bit, he's a Cat 3 who's taking it easy today. I guess it's technically the off-season, but the weather has been amazing. I've got a long sleeve, but can still ride in shorts.
"A" ROUTE: Foothill, Page Mill, Arastradero, Alpine, Portola, 84, Tripp, Kings, 35S, 84W, Pescadero, W. Alpine, Page, 35N, 84E, Portola, Sand Hill, Foothill to Peets.
About 60 miles total, I was only able to hang on for about 7. I suck.
Legs felt bad going up Arastradero. I keep thinking my brake pad was rubbing. It wasn't. On the back side (okay, it's not even a climb) the group kept pulling away. I'm not a good descender and the pack is faster than a solo rider OTB (that's my excuse!).
I caught up at the stop sign, only to get dropped again on Alpine. I saw them up ahead, getting smaller and smaller. Very disheartening! I need to ride more.
I decided to do Old La Honda again, to see if I can go any faster having been up the road once. There were a few other riders today, so it was nice to have some motivation. I caught and passed about a half dozen riders. There was this one dude in a neon yellow jacket who was always about 10 yards ahead. I would pull him in, and then he would take off again. I was trying to stay in a safe zone and not blow up. He was on a mountain bike no less!
Well, thanks to this guy, I rounded the corner and saw the mailboxes earlier than last time.
25 minutes! I'm solidly middle of the pack now. Ultimately I want to get under 20 minutes, but I realize those next 5 are going to be a lot harder than these first five.
Cruised back down 35, 84, Sandhill and Foothill. Finished up exactly 2 hours after we left.
That's a nice little loop I plan on doing a lot more of.