Yesterday, I was all whiny and cry-baby about how little I have ridden and how intimidated I was by going to ride by myself.
And I learned a really good lesson…have some confidence! Because TODAY WAS AWESOME! The ride was probably one of my most favorite rides I have ever done. And that is saying a lot considering I usually ride with some of my best friends.
I found a group of guys early on that I thought I could hang with and grabbed a wheel and held on tight. The pace was fast (for me), but I felt pretty good and I was just hoping I wouldn’t crash and burn for going out too hard.
The group cruised right through the 20-mile rest stop, but I certainly wasn’t stopping and losing the pull of the pack. And at one point, I dropped my chain on a small climb, but I got it back on quickly and caught them within a few minutes.
I climbed hard and found myself getting up to the top of the hills in the top 3 or 4 out of the group of 10 or so men. This meant that I was on the front end of the line most of the time, so when the lead rider dropped out, I moved up further and eventually found myself pulling the group! I didn’t stay up there long because I just kept thinking I was probably holding them back, but I got lots of props from the guys as I dropped back after a few miles.
They were all really friendly and didn’t mind at all that I hung with them for the day…even though I was the only girl and was all decked out in pink 🙂
…and apparently had a crooked helmet?!
They appeared to all know each other, which was good because it meant they were less likely to split up. Riding with a big group is always so much faster than with just a few people.
The scenery was beautiful but I didn’t get many pictures because we only stopped at one rest stop and then one time to wait for a few guys…which is when I got this shot:
I did end up breaking off from the group for the last 10 miles or so because they stopped to wait for someone and there were two others riding on that I hopped in with.
Over those last 10 miles, I started to feel my legs getting really tired, which is probably a result of the lack of endurance at this distance. I also probably didn’t take in enough calories throughout the almost 3 1/2 hours. I know my nutrition needs well, but I hardly had the time to think about eating as we truly pushed hard for the entire 62 miles.
Finally I pulled into the finish party and took a quick walk around. I didn’t see any food that looked great or anyone that I knew to talk to, so I said goodbye to the guys that I rode with (they told me I did great and was super strong!) and headed home.
We finished the day with an 18.2 mph average for 62.1 miles.
And now its nap time…