And I hope to muster up a flashlight.
I rode to the Bike Masters Wed night Group ride and felt pretty good. I recovered well from the 90 mile ride on Sunday. Funny thing, my legs never felt sore after that ride. The only thing was the back of my neck. It's still hurting right now. I guess I built up some good neck muscles when I was putting in many hours a week on the bike. And since, for the past year, I've basically only been commuting the whopping 6 mile round trip most days and occasionally getting a 3-ish hour ride in, those various long distance muscles have faded. Guess I gotta build them back up.
So the ride: The group looked to be pretty solid, but the legendary fasties weren't there. No Spence, Brackenbury, Ellis, or various others. So I had some high hopes for myself. At first Bryan and I pushed the pace a bit up some climbs. That felt good. Then we kept the pace high for a majority of the ride out. I started to fall off after a failed sprint with no goal. Bryan took that one even though we didn't know where we were sprinting to. I just gave up after a few seconds while he kept going = he won. After that, about 45 minutes into the group ride, I was pretty toasted. There weren't any bad hills after that, but we still had to turn around and ride into the 15-20mph headwind. All the way back. Then I had to ride home into that same headwind. Ugh.
After we turned around the group was together. For about a mile. Then Bryan picks up the pace and was pretty much just gone. The rest of us crawled home in various groups trying to rotate and work together to share some of the wind burden. Eventually, when we hit some good climbs, I was off on my own. I just couldn't stay with anyone anymore. So I putzed back to the shop and eventually JP caught up with me. He's got some wicked clunky sound going on with his bike so we checked it over at the shop. My bike is noisy too, but I just haven't really cleaned or relubed any part of it for most of the year. Oops.
After I refilled the bottles it was time for the slog home into the headwind. I had motivation along Fort St with traffic, but as soon as I hit the trail, I could barely maintain 13mph, even when I was shielded from the wind. I stopped by Chipotle for some awesome recovery food and called it a night. Again, I'm not sore today, other than the neck muscles. So that's a good sign. I just need to train those otherwise unused muscles to take multiple riding days again. Then I have to work on my upper end aerobic engine by doing group rides and steady climb intervals. Then, over the winter, I will hit the gym, do some gravel road rides, and rebuild my strength again. So I have about 6 months to muster up a flashlight for this pain cave. Better get musterin'.