Friday, June 23, 2006

That didn't quite work...

Well, another Thursday ride's in the bag. Tim the Organizer of The Ride set up an actual A group this time, as we had some of the faster regulars and a couple of sponored riders from Team Healthnet. The intention was to send out the B and C groups, and then the A train would head out three minutes later and play chase. I rolled with the B's, figuring that the A's would be spicier than usual (and I've got a nice cough going, too). We cruised at an easy 20-21, slower than the usual B group pace by a couple of notches.

Well, the A line rolled by us after maybe 8 miles and, naturally, all but two or three of the B group accelerated and latched on. The pace held at about the same as we'd been doing in the apparently mis-named B group for the last few weeks, cruising in the mid-20s with occasional testosterone moments into the 30s. This time, though, the group didn't fragment at all as we headed back towards Grand Haven, so we rolled back into town in a full pack of 20+ people instead of the more common subgroups of three to five. The full-ride average I showed was 20.8, so I assume the people who started 3 minutes after us showed 21+. That was despite a few minutes of slow going after an injury- and damage-free crash.

This ride's getting to be the highlight of my week! It's also making it harder to get out and ride on my own, not because of the effort, but because riding in a group is so much more interesting. This group's doing a breakfast metric century on July 4 that I might add to my schedule...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Gotta catch up a bit

Man, I'm gettin' neglectful. I think I've got a decent excuse, though; we had Dane's cousin and my mother-in-law staying with us last week. With five people in our one-bathroom house, and two of them being smart, independant, stubborn roughly-5-year-olds, I think I can be forgiven for being distracted. They took the slow boat back to Wisconsin yesterday morning, although I'm beginning to suspect that they left behind a virus or two.

Anyway, on the 13th I got out and did 30 miles at a relaxed pace, as much to escape the house as to ride.

Thursday the 15th was the regular paceline ride, only more so - we had the addition of a skinny guy on a hoighty-toighty Bianchi, with legs to back up both the hoight and the toight. Unfortunately, he didn't seem to grasp the concepts of "B" or "group" and so pulled us up to 26 to 27 any time he got to the front. I ended up a quarter mile behind the pack after 15 miles, but as I saw them turning left, I noted that skinny guy continuing on straight. Apparently he got far enough ahead that he didn't hear the "left turn" hollering behind him. So, the pace moderated, and I was able to catch up. Once I settled in and started to feel better, it was a nice ride. My final average, including the loafy bits in Grand Haven, was 21.1 mph. Zoom zoom.

Saturday the 16th was nice and warm and breezy; I did a good 46 miles south of Whitehall, exploring some roads in North Muskegon. Without the exploring, it would still be a pretty nice 43ish mile route, one that I'll have to try to remember.

Tuesday I packed my bike up, brought clothes, and just couldn't bring myself to ride. Gotta catch up on sleep, and hopefully preemptively fight off the coughing that I'm starting to develop. Ghaa, kids.


Sunday, June 11, 2006

Musta been a boy bee

I skipped out on riding Saturday, preferring to work on cleaning Dane's room in advance of his cousin visiting us. What fun, vaccuming carpet that the boy has impregnated with crayons and various cats have whizzed upon.

Sunday, though, was a really nice team ride on the Musketawa Trail, starting in Marne. A bunch of us did the whole thing, 51 miles or so for the whole ride to Muskegon and back. The trail is just as pretty, straight, and boring as ever. The highlight of excitement was a bee getting fresh with Stacey. No stinging, just, y'know, nestling. After the ride we stuffed out on chips, salsa, and the like.

With two 5ish year old boys in the house, I don't know how much riding I'll get in this week. Gotta do the Thursday ride, though.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

More fun with pacelines

An easy 20ish on Tuesday let my legs get a last bit of recovery in after last week's Rock N' Road ride, so I could do it again on Thursday. I got my 'puter reset properly before riding out, so have 40.5 miles as the accurate distance, and one hour fifty-six minutes and change as the accurate time. Again it was a pretty big group, maybe not quite the size of last week, but still plenty. The pace heading South was pretty spicy, in the 25+ range quite a bit, and we ended up stringing out into a couple of groups. We did regroup after turning inland, but splintered again as we rode North. Rolling back into GH was a relief!

One of the guys had a video camera mounted on his handlebars - hopefully he'll be able to post that online somewhere...

Sunday, June 04, 2006

First Cinnamon Roll

The weekend in review:

Saturday I headed North, with tired legs and a noticeable headwind. I chugged along the lakeshore to Stony Lake, then continued up along Scenic Drive to Silver Lake for my first cinnamon roll of the year. Nummy! After ingesting that (gotta keep the energy up, you know) I went inland to Mears and picked up the bike trail for the ride home, for a nice long day of 53 miles. And then I mowed the dumb lawn.

Sunday was a JDRF ride, which turned out to be a pretty hilly 28 miles from Ada Park. Other than a few rather brutish hills it was pretty relaxed, which was about all the effort I could manage anyway. I'm looking forward to a few days of relaxed riding at most; I figure Thursday will be my next major ride, though I'm planning on riding again on Tuesday with the woman from work.

Outside of riding, life is entirely too busy. Kirsten is running three to five days a week, we're working ten hour days at Uncle Herman's House of Specials, we have yardwork that's been sitting for a week waiting for the right combination of weather and "free" time, and who knows what else. Criminey!

Friday, June 02, 2006


Tuesday was a relaxed day - rode for about 10 miles with another Herman Miller person, who is planning to do one of the shorter distances in the Holland Hundred. I puttered around a bit more after than and totalled 19 or so.

Thursday was with the Rock N' Road group again, this time with Group B. The weather was almost perfect - maybe 70ยบ and completely clear, with low humidity - and the turnout was great, with a good couple dozen guys in the B line. What a treat it is to ride in that size group! As we got south of Grand Haven, I was wondering when we'd amp up the pace, then looked down to see that we were already there at 23+! Even at that speed, in the middle and back of the line we were feathering our brakes to keep from riding into the person ahead. We rolled down Lakeshore Drive all the way to Quincy street, then turned inland.

Quincy turned out to be the intermediate sprint street, as the leader pulled us up to almost 30 before peeling off. I was third in line, and we slowed to maybe 27 before three guys went shooting by, evidently gunning for the next stop sign. I got all caught up and tried to give chase, getting up over 33 before letting up. It was silly, totally unnecessary, and utterly entertaining. Mercifully, we relaxed for the next mile or so before the pace ramped back up to a steady 22-23.

I did a couple of good pulls, the second one being a bit too long - after I peeled off and the group passed me by, I couldn't quite reconnect. Fortunately, we were almost back to Grand Haven by then, and I caught back up shortly after we crossed Robbins Road. I had started my computer late, so my numbers aren't completely accurate, but for 38.6 miles we averaged 20.8. The full distance is probably between 40.5 and 41, and the extra distance was loafing through town, but I expect the total ride average was still over 20. That was too much fun!