Yesterday was a milestone in my "recreational cyclist" adventures. It was significant because I've been off the bike at least a month, maybe even two. The new job and concerns around a budding family don't leave much weekend time for a jaunt into the mountains.
I got the usual "B-Ride" details via the AV mailing list. This weekend looked promising in terms of the weather and the short distance of the planned route. It was *only* a 40 miler as opposed to their usual 60 mile route. The plan was to hit the Old La Honda and West Old La Honda climbs, in a bit of a figure 8.
I managed to hang on all the way to the base of OLH. Of course I got dropped quickly, but at least I wasn't at the very end. I managed to find this AV/Webcor rider who was going at a decent pace. I followed her up about 4/5's of the way. Then her conversation with the AV guy on the S-Works Tarmac got personal so I stopped trying to hang on. As I dropped back and refueled, a trio of other guys were blazing by everyone. I hung on to their wheel and finished strong.
Regroup at Sky Londa before heading down to the base of WOLH for the 2nd climb of the day. Funny to stop here on a bike after having done so many regroups here in the car. These roads are great for everyone, as long as we can all share it. The descent was challenging, but I was able to hang off the back for the whole way down. Keeping the group in sight was a big deal for a nervous descender like me. It was also pretty cool to see all these riders (40+?) going down faster than the cars behind (which i was holding up!).
After an abrupt stop and 180 turn back up WOLH, i get dropped again. Funny thing, that same AV rider is getting dropped so I suck her wheel for a bit. Then I get dropped. At least I know where the regroup is this time. I finish the climb and head down to Sky Londa. Some big dude passes me and I tuck in behind him for the short ride down. Feels like we're doing 45mph!
When I get to the regroup, I barely have time for a swig before the group heads off. Again I'm at the back and again I get dropped. These people seriously go fast. I had to let a few cars go by, but I'm certainly getting better than last time. I'll have to keep practicing. The Roubaix descents pretty well and is much more maneuverable than the old Stilleto. And that's supposed to be a Crit bike versus this "comfortable" frame. Crazy what 10yrs of tech can do for you.
Soft pedaled it back to Peet's, and got passed by the B-Ride folks on Foothill. So I skipped out a few miles, I still feel like I finished the ride with them!