Saturday, February 11, 2012

Reality Bikes Ride

Man, it got cold all of a sudden! This whole winter has been more like an interpretive dance representing winter than winter itself, then today I actually had to put on warm clothes.

Today Reality Bikes had a big group ride planned and everybody on their various teams and clubs were invited. I was in the club last year but this year Todd's putting together a Grassroots Mountain Bike Team and he asked me to be on it. I guess I'm doing something right. Thanks Todd!

At any rate, we had this ride planned and it was really freakin' cold. I actually had to dig out my full-length fleece tights-bib-thing and winter base layer. I can't remember the last time I used either. We rode out of the lot at the Blue Bicycle, a little bistro up in Dawsonville.

 Reality Ride

It was one of those no-drop rides, which was good because I'm definitely in the kind of shape where I'll be dropped when they start up the weekly beatdowns again. I'm usually like this at the end of winter though. Winter just sucks all of the intensity out of me. I can ride forever but somehow I can't trade a pound of that endurance for an ounce of speed. This winter has been especially difficult. Back in September I had dreams of epic rides, overnighters and hauling around 12 pounds of crap in my camelback all day but between the weather, work, CoTrails, illness and a few oddly timed family events, this winter has been a wash. I've kept my weight down, but I'm not any stronger than at the end of September.

On top of all that, it never helps that at the end of winter, the cherry trees start to bloom, followed by the pear trees. It seems to be redbud, then cherry, then pear, then dogwood. I'm allergic to cherry and pear, and the only thing more miserable than the pollen is the side effects of the various allergy meds. It hit me this past Wednesday, right as I was getting over a cold. Ugh. I'm praying for dogwood. Come on dogwood.

I was planning on just sitting on the back all day, sulking and crying, but I ended up doing ok. Some of the guys around me seemed to be working a little harder than I was even, which was encouraging. Every year I forget how awesome a group ride is too. I've been pulling myself around all winter. In a group you can hide from the wind! Amazing! Who came up with that?

Did I mention that it was cold? Yeah. It was cold. In fact, it snowed on us the entire time. I got hit by a little sleet storm in my neighborhood too. The daffodils are already up this year and they had no idea what to do. No idea! I hope it has some effect on the cherry trees too, but somehow I doubt that it will.

We rolled an easy 40 miles and chatted and kind of felt out our respective fitnesses. The route was surprisingly hilly toward the end and a few guys pushed the pace a little bit over the hills. I've never been up on those exact roads before, but I'm going to make sure to include some of them in my personal stash, they were great.

When we got back, I wanted to eat at the Blue Bicycle but I had to get back home. Maybe I'll go there for dinner tonight.

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