My final blog on riding out west — Grand Tetons — will have to wait until next time.
There are 15 minutes of fame for some people. On a bike, however, it is often more like 30 seconds of fame.
In a good riding season, however, that is coupled with achieving a new personal best, as well.
This is a feel good blog.
30 Seconds of Fame.
Susan and I often join a Tuesday or Thursday AM ride. It is well populated by members of three different clubs on Long Island . We are retired, recently fired, teachers and hooky placers. Susan and I generally ride in back of the group as we are often uncomfortable being surrounded by other riders. While some are safe group riders, some are loose cannons.
So, while we may ride to the front for a short time, we tend to hang behind the other 15-20 riders. The rides themselves are generally rolling to flat and in the range of 40 miles.
There is one section of one road that we are often on that goes for two to three miles without a stop required. (This is Long Island , NY remember. Three miles of road with no stop lights is forever.) The other week, on this stretch of road, I am pulling Susan, as this allows her to ride faster with me. Our normal pace for this stretch is 18 to 21 mph. We are riding in that range behind one other rider in this group, but he is slowing down. Susan says Go ahead, which is my signal that she is not riding too hard. I pass and pull her along. Out of the blue Susan says €Speed it up. This is a surprise as we are at her normal comfort zone limit.
All of a sudden I am riding at 23 mph, which is actually above my comfort zone when pulling into a light headwind. Susan is still on my wheel as we pass the whole group. The rest of the group grabbed onto our two person pace line, of course. The unusual thing was, they did not leap frog past us, but hung on behind.
Fortunately, there was a stop light about ¼ mile ahead at this point. I needed a rest.
The 30 seconds of fame, however, does not belong to me, but rather to Susan. Our group has never seen that side nor seen her ride any distance at that pace.
Personal Best Ride.
This must be Susan’s year and in once sense my year, as we both had a personal best of one sort or another.
One of the groups we used to be comfortable riding with had gotten significantly faster. As a result, Susan was reluctant to ride with again. She knows I will always drop off and ride with her should the ride get too hard, but she hates being the last one and possibly holding up the group.
One week, however, our riding was rather light and Susan decided it was time to try this group again.
When we got to the ride, we found that many of the faster riders had recently broken off and formed their own sub group.
The stated pace for this group is 17-20 mph on flat roads (depending on headwinds, of course).
For a variety of reasons I offered to lead, with the admonition to the group that if Susan was on my wheel no one was to cut between us. I like her to be there as a kind of governor on my speed.
As a result of this, I was able to keep the pace around 17-18 mph for the entire 44 miles. The ride, and Susan, averaged 16.3 mph a new personal best for her. For me it was to pull the entire ride (no one came up to help me) at that same speed.
Please feel free to submit your own moments of fame or personal achievements.