Tuesday, January 20, 2009

First Ride

Our first ride since becoming a team took place Sunday morning under what I think was the first blue sky of 2009. 11 am conditions: 32 degrees, sunny, roads mostly clear of snow, but plenty of gravel and grit. I left my house thankful that black asphalt absorbs enough heat to melt the left-over snow and ice after multiple plows.

From Rides

We agreed to meet at the intersection of Thorpe Road and H 195. From there, we were turning west and heading uphill. I remember times when this is one of those hills that increases your breathing, but was hardly considered a climb. Thankfully, I have a long memory. Wanting to hide my lack of fitness and not feel strung out in the first five minutes of the ride, I called Rider 2 to say that I would meet them up the hill at the next intersection. Fumbling to answer the call, I could hear Rider 2 reporting to Rider 1, "That must be Rider 3 calling to say he is late." If it weren't so regularly true, I would say that it was insulting. Putting aside this slight, I told him the revised plan. Thankfully technology then allowed us to begin one of the important elements of a ride before we had even gotten face-to-face: trash-talking.

We can debate at length which is more important to a ride, trash talking or sandbagging, but I firmly believe each has a role. In this case, it was, "Sure, go ahead, take your 28 on up the hill and we'll see if we can catch you!" I'm sure that this wasn't intended to point out the differences in the speed we ascend, but . . . well, maybe it was. In any case, I headed up the hill and started thinking of my excuses so that I could get on with the next important element of the ride. I didn't get much sleep last night; I spent a LOT of time on the trainer yesterday; did I mention the soreness in my knee, my back, my hamstrings, my quads, and my lungs? I was set just in time.

From Rides

From here, we made our way towards Cheney. We discussed the weather, the condition of the roads and early season riding. Since the Team Two Wheel is very much a nascent entity, I thought we should explore some team rules. The first one I suggested was that we all agree to ride the first 1,000 kilometers of the season in our small chainring so that we could "spin" the way the Euro's suggest. Rider 1 quickly stated his opposition. Rider 2 quickly stated his amazement that he had a small chainring. He wasn't familiar with it, as the chain had last visited it when the mechanic was installing the derailleur. No matter; it gave us something to talk about for a few miles as we rounded up towards Betz Road.

From Rides
For anyone not familiar with Betz Road, here it is in its snow covered January state. It is largely empty road that doesn't appear to go to or from anywhere, making it perfect for cycling.

The rest of the ride was uneventful. About two hours total, all friendly and a minimum of pacelines due to traffic on the run back to town on the Cheney-Spokane Road. We told a few bad jokes, discussed the topics of the day and thoroughly enjoyed being outside on our bikes on January 18 despite record snows in our area just a month earlier. Here was my indication it was time to get riding and stop worrying about anything else. More later.
Rider 3

From Rides

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