Sitting in the auditorium at South County H.S. in Lorton, Va., yesterday at our annual high school soccer referee clinic, I kept looking out wanting to ride instead. It was unseasonably warm (low 60s -- 16C) and I hadn't ridden in more than three weeks. Following the Steelers on their run to the Super Bowl was worth it all though.
Although there were rides listed on the Potomac Pedalers site, I trekked up to Reston to ride with Evolution Cycling Team. One thing that was different about today -- I was on time. So rather than jump on the rear I asked if I could ride with them. One warned me they ride at an A pace -- or something like that. I nodded.
There were six of them and one of us. We headed out towards Great Falls. On the way we were on a lightly traveled road and they wanted to ride a pace line. That was my first time in a true pace line. My summer rides with DC Velo is more me hanging on the back but this was a single pace line, all moving up in unison then falling off. They riders were gracious to this old rookie.
Once we got to Great Falls we broke apart a little. There were some steep descents and steep climbs. The one woman in the group, Tanya, had a hard time matching pace, especially on the descents. Then she was already behind the 8-ball for the next climb. As long as they were waiting for her I could hang in there.
Eventually I sensed they wanted to go faster without Tanya and without me. But they would never suggest that. She told me she didn't have legs going out or back today and I felt I didn't either. Although I'd been riding indoors, it's not the same as being out on the bike.
We were near the end when Tanya and I headed over to the W&OD trail and let the others go flying on without us. It was a good ride but I wonder why I think I can ride with the guys 20 years (or more) younger than me.
Garmin Stats (note that I forgot to start the computer at the start)