When you grab all you can get, that’s what happens:
the more you get, the less you are.
I haven’t mentioned my training rides much lately. I’ve been doing them, but I don’t really enjoy the Ramrod Training Series rides very much. For one thing, the routes tend to be incredibly convoluted, often for no apparent reason. For another thing, so far it’s been very large groups of riders even in the front, and it seems like larger groups tend to have worse behavior. I’ve seen and (to my shame) participated in really rude behavior on the road: Running red lights, ignoring stop signs, and cutting off cars are just the tip of the iceberg.
I hate that kind of riding, where the bicyclist basically says, “I’m the most important thing on the road, and I don’t care who I inconvenience or what rules I break in pursuit of my pleasure.” I’ll be the first to admit that I ride that way when I’m in a group of other people riding that way, and I hate to see that side of myself come out. It’s selfish, inconsiderate, and dangerous. It’s why this cartoon is depressingly funny.
All that to say that today, I rode with a group of 7 other cyclists that eventually shrank to 4 as people peeled off to go home at various points. We certainly flaunted some laws, but at least the group was small enough that cars could get around us, and overall I felt like behavior was a little better than your average RTS ride. We rode a slightly modified 7 Hills of Kirkland metric century (for you uninitiated, “metric century” is a fancy way of saying “about 60 miles” and refers to the fact that bicyclists call 100 miles a century, so 100 km/62 miles is a metric century).
I ended up with just over 70 miles and a total of 5800 to 5900 feet of climbing, with an average speed of 16.3 mph. Here’s the elevation profile.
I was working very, very hard at some points on this ride. I’d report average heart rate, but my heart rate monitor’s been very spotty, and reporting that I either have no pulse or I’m up at 200+ beats per minute and I know I’m never working that hard. But my legs and lungs told me I was pushing myself. Later I found out one of the guys I didn’t know was a former Cat 1 racer, and after he peeled off (“I have to ride back to Kent to meet some other guys for a mountain bike ride this afternoon.”) the pace did moderate a bit.
Even so, I spent most of the time within sight of the group, not actually with the group. I was OK with that because I had the route on my GPS, so I wasn’t about to get lost if they dropped me, and I knew I was working about as hard as I could. And the weather was as pretty as could be, perfect temperature and sunny, with some breeze; it’s hard to feel down even when you’re in danger of being dropped by your group on a day this beautiful.
I didn’t do a good job eating right before the ride, and during the ride I should’ve tried to eat and drink more consistently. That’s my big foible right now. Food, especially after bike rides, has been difficult for me lately. So I think bad eating choices made the ride harder for me. Next goal: Actually adhere to my eating and drinking plan on a ride. Note to self: JUST DO IT.
Oh, and one funny Riding With Guys moment: As we rode along Lake Washington Blvd. at 2:00 in the afternoon, lots of people were out walking around. Many women had pulled out summery clothes that they’ve been saving for months. In particular, a couple of young women walking in Kirkland were wearing something skimpy and eye-catching. As we passed the girls, I watched the guy in front of me as his head slewed around to watch the girls. It was as if one of the girls was holding an invisible leash attached to his eyes.