Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A long break

It was a long break. And no, I don't mean break as in breakaway, I mean a long time away from the bike. And as good as that steak at NY's Four Seasons was, it didn't do a lick of good for my form.

Like Rider 3 alluded to the other day, work and family obligations have joined forces to conspire against saddle time. Other than feeling a bit out of sorts, I survived this bike vacation and upon returning to Spokane was itching to get back on my bike.

And this past weekend had a nice present in store for me: Perfect weather. 

Late-May in Spokane is something special. Rolling hills of green wheat, gentle winds (as opposed to the gale force variety that's typical in the early spring) and sun. This weekend was perfect. At least the weather was perfect.

I rode solo on Friday for 90 minutes or so. It felt like I was on someone else's bike. My seat felt too high, the bars way too far away and small hills felt like big mountains. Three weeks off will do that.

Saturday was better, but Quicksilver (who is leaner than I've ever seen him, btw) and Nate made my life pretty miserable. A 30 minute block at threshold will do that...I followed up Saturday's ride with some solo time on Sunday, doing a series of hill repeats that left me more than a little shattered. But I also started feeling like myself, like the cobwebs were finally getting cleaned out.

All of this was just a warmup for Monday. I was tired and sore, but the day was just so perfect. About 25 people showed up to help celebrate Memorial Day. 

We rolled out of town, the sun shining on the group happily chatting away. Conversation died down a bit up the day's first climb, but resumed a mile or so later once we crested. 

It was fun to catch up with Tony, a teammate from last season and one of the nicer guys in the group, as we rolled along at the front, warming up our legs and getting things moving at the right speed. 

The Rambo Road/Tepee loop is one of my favorites in the region. For some reason it's not popular with local riders, but to me it should be a Spokane staple. The loop has a bit of everything. Flat farm roads, some steep climbs, an arrow-straight and fast downhill, ponderosa forests, basalt cliffs and coulees, river vistas, and plenty of green meadows. Some of the ride is exposed, other times you're under a canopy of trees. 

I'm not sure why I didn't bring along a camera. It's too bad because there was great light and amazing scenery.

Anyway, I love days that underline why this sport is so perfect. Three hours after I left home I found myself tired, but not completely wrecked. Nothing a plate of mexican food didn't fix, anyway.

By the way, some foreshadowing is in order. We just took delivery of our new Giro Ionos helmets and Havik glasses. Initial thoughts are all positive, but we'll get up some more detail once we have more time in them.

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