What a long day. Bed by midnight, couldn't sleep, up at 4a, ate and bored but only wish I was tired. Mine as well do the 5:15 local group ride. 35+ regular attendees that meet at Carmel & Colony each day, but Tuesdays & Thursdays being the fast days. Always lead by Spencer Leuders, who is just a machine and always looking some friendly competition. I would assume his motto is "ride hard or don't ride at all, especially if I have to get up at 4:30 in the morning".
I was still asleep until we hit Park and I actually like to start on the back and move my way up through triathletes, rec riders and the like to see the players. Woodworth, Hathcock, Cooley, Leuders, etc. These guys don't waste time. Not sure where they get the energy, but I understand the enjoyment (kind of), no traffic, cool morning, no lights because of no traffic and smooth sailing through the city. Spencer is constantly pushing the pace and then throwing solid attacks. My plan was not to attack, but to follow any moves bouncing from one to another and then bridging long to Spencer. I believe he intimidates these guys although Hathcock doesn't mind giving chase and dishing out his own pain from time to time. My goal wasn't to smart since I knew I would be riding hard again in about 12 hours. I found myself expending too much energy, effort and pain, but I enjoy the game and somebody has to play with Spencer. Great time, cool down solo with the Mayor, Riley Greer, and 40 miles later and home by 6:45a.
Training for the State Road Race Championship this weekend, so no need for Orr Road. Went out to a local group ride where I knew there would be some road simulation games, attacks, varied terrain, etc. The ride was rather tame in comparison to past weeks, but there was still a selection made and it ended with 3 roadies and 3 triathletes. Before you laugh, these 3 triathletes are pretty darn fast and love to ride hard and show their roadie friends how strong they are. It was fun watching them take those long manly pulls to pull over and expect us to contribute in that manner. Our mo jo is to draft, draft and draft again until the end. Their mo jo is no drafting and see who can pull the longest and hardest. The roadies were game in watching and riding wheels. We took our obligatory pulls, but they absolutely despised us for taking them on the hills and at the sprints. What did they expect, right? I do give them credit for putting it out there, allowing us to join their ride and for being good sports. I am sure it is nice training for them too. I don't think they realize how different our strategies, skills and abilities. At one time I use to be able to time trial with the best of them, but this roadie thing has put a wrench into that specialty, or maybe I just put my own wrench into it.
We kept the pace high and consistent and it was nice turning average speed higher than normal. The steady effort was great training too. Just a nice variation to the normal weekday rides. And the West side of Charlotte although not desirable to reside is a great place to ride and much, much safer than the North side and especially the South side of Charlotte. The folks that live and drive out there are very respectful citizens and it is much appreciated by the local cyclists. Dropped by a.m. Douger's place where Mr. Smith and I enjoyed an adult beverage on the way to the South side. Home by 8:30p and 57 miles later. What a day!