No more Mr Nice Guy

This might the blond in me coming out, but I didn't realize how much Nick was tailoring rides for me in the past. Saturday's ride with the guys was quite the wake up call. As the year has progressed, I thought I was doing better with keeping up with the group on the weekend rides. On some of the sustained climbs, I was only a few minutes back, or even in sight of the tail end of the group. My first clue as to how nice everyone has been and how tolerant of me riding with them came on Wednesday - riding Falcon trail with Nick and some of the So-Co Velos guys. Up the Stanley Canyon climb and I popped. Could not even keep them in sight despite them waiting for me at the start of the really steep part. I (naively) thought Nick was just riding hard to get his workout in.

Then came Saturday. The winding climb up Chamberlin and the Chutes had me right on the edge and I was losing wheels at the very end. On Gold Camp road and it was the same story - I just had my head down and was suffering trying to stay on Nick's wheel. Meanwhile, they were just chatting away, discussing some of the issues we've been having with the new house. There was no way I was joining that conversation - I needed my energy and breath to ride. At the parking lot, they stopped for a little. Nick told me to keep riding, get a little recovery in before the Buckhorn climb.

I had issues right away on Buckhorn. That first section was covered in snow and mud and I bobbled the entry rocks. With mud in my cleats, I couldn't start riding until after the first switchback. The guys were gone, out of site and riding away from me. I was left to climb on my own and I wasn't making any ground at all with catching them. And they even waited after the second set of switchback and root sections. Still couldn't stay on the wheels. I was dying, just completely done. At that point, I was also feeling pretty sorry for myself. Here I thought I was getting really fast, then reality sets in! Then I was frustrated with riding, with Nick and with fact that I wasn't keeping up and couldn't make up any ground on the group at all. Finally, realization that Nick has been really cool with getting me riding, but it's time to make me work. No more easy rides, no more Mr Nice Guy, no more tailoring the pace to ensure I can keep up with them. I need to step it up and do the work needed to succeed on the bike. I hope I'm ready for this!

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