Dangling off the back

When I woke up this morning and saw the balmy temp of 13 degrees on the thermometer, I was not looking forward to the scheduled group road ride. Nick was going mountain biking and I really wanted to join him.
But it was the road ride on my training schedule, so to the road ride I went. It only warmed up to about 23 by the time I left, and the sun was still hiding behind the clouds. I bundled up - wool socks, toe warmers, neoprene booties, winter gloves and my Gore jacket. If I was gonna suffer on the road, I didn't want to be freezing. The group assembled at Starbucks was small, but there were some speedy riders. I knew I was in for another fun time of trying to keep with the group when Kaylan showed up with his fancy new road bike. If I was struggling when he was riding a cross bike - uh oh! Some of the other normal faces weren't there, either taking a break or waiting until the temperature rose a little in the afternoon.

We rolled out at a more reasonable pace then my last group ride, but it wasn't slow at all. I was solidly in the middle of the pack, watching wheels and trying to stay out of the wind. As we rode over Powers, the pace increased a little - prep for the big acceleration on Mark Sheffel, I figured. My hands were getting pretty warm and getting my bottles out with the heavy gloves was tricky, so I took a few seconds to swap out to my lighter weight gloves. Fell off the back while doing that and was really concerned because the right turn was getting close. I was working pretty hard and got onto the back of the train just as they made that right turn. Then... Nothing, the pack closed down. No one wanted to go to the front and fight the wind it seemed. A few of the So-Co Velo riders (Brent especially) got pretty annoyed that there wasn't any action and said something to the group. That did it and off they went. I did a better job of reading wheels and staying out of the wind this time - took a few really short pulls, but did my best to just stay in the middle of the pack. I almost made it to the hill on Link Rd, so I was pretty happy about that. Down the back of the hill and I settled in for another long time trial and trying to limit the losses.

Once again, the pace stayed pretty high even after the turn around at the race track. I almost stayed with the group into Fountain, but someone decided to attack on a small hill. Despite a desperate sprint to try to get on the wheels, I watched the pack ride away. Took a few seconds to recover and catch my breath, then started reeling in the other dropped riders. Luckily, it wasn't too far until the refueling stop at the gas station. Another casual roll out from the gas station, then another noticeable elevation of the pace. Again, I was holding wheels, but starting to loose some ground. I got a couple of pushes from Brent - sprinted for all I was worth, but was in the second group entering Ft Carson. It was a quick pace, but without attacks through Ft Carson, then time for the ride home. I took a short cut through the neighborhood, rejoined the small group heading for Cheyenne Mtn Zoo and did my best to stay with them until the Zoo. All in all, another hard, long day in the saddle - hopefully all the solo time trialing and attempts to stay in the pack will pay off later!


  1. Tracy - I am new to the Springs having moved here from Nevada. I am interested in joining the club but the website isn't user friendly and the meeting calendar doesn't say where the meetings are held. Any tips you can give me on where to go to join or even the runs on Saturdays at BRC it doesn' say what time. I am Diane and my email is bouldercitydiane@yahoo.com - much thanks! And I love your blog!!


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