Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sugar, we're going down...

I had the above mentioned Fall Out Boy song in my head all day, as it was on the radio whilst I was putting on the Cerv's new shoes this morning:

After way-too-much research, I landed on the Continental Ultra Gatorskin tire, in size 23.  After closely inspecting my old rear tire (following last week's puncture) I found a significant tear in the sidewall, so some new rubber was in order.  I've had a pair of gators before, as tubies when I used to roll the HED Stinger 60's.  They were flawless, but alas that set-up was sold to make way for (read: make possible) the Cervelo.  

Mini-review:  Compared to other tires I've used, these felt fast but more harsh.  They offered good control and grip.  Admittedly, I didn't lean on 'em too hard.  I'll try to take them off-road next week and see how it goes.

On to the ride:  First up, I shorted it today.  Coach had a 45-miler on the calendar and I simply didn't check that before I headed out.  Oops.  I aimed for 40 miles at 20mph pace, and nearly got it.  19.8 miles per hour over 41 miles.    From a RPE standpoint, I FELT much better today despite the higher speed.   Confidence is improving.  No worries, the Tour of the Battenkill still scares the crap out of me (in a good way). 

Our original group of 8 split up a bit (different goals for different season plans), so our groupetto of 4 hit the rolling hills of Wyo Rd. with the goal of keeping it pretty warm/hot.  It was easily one of the fastest trips I've taken up and down the often painful Wyo.  I can't take full credit as Barry, Rip, and Whit cranked it with me.  Once back on Courtney-Huntsville, we opted for the well-worn Fish Brandon --> Old Stage route, with a big bump at Powerline Hill.  Fish Brandon was very interesting today, as recent rains and farm tractors had dragged a good amount of mud (and who knows what else) all over the road.  I think I still have some in my teeth.  About 3/4 of the way down Old Stage, I was struck with the idea to try some intervals (read: attack).  Sitting at the back of the small group, I had a good position but knew there was a headwind.  I waited for a slight downhill and hit the gas. 

The plan was to keep ahead of the group for just a few minutes, but after about 10 seconds of afterburners I took a look over my shoulder.  Whit.  He hopped on me like a leech and could not be removed.  After about 20-30 seconds more (time is fuzzy when putting in a big dig) I tried to shake him and he finally went around.  Unfortunately for me, Whit can roll on the flats like a train.  I tried to grab his wheel but his acceleration around me was too much.  It took another mile to get back to him, and I'm sure he was waiting.  Go Whit.

As we regouped at the top of Powerline Hill, we noticed a group of svelte-looking cyclists coming from the west.  Sure enough, they were our long-lost CLM compatriots from earlier in the day.  We tagged along and rolled steady back to Lewisville.  Barry and I kept it in high gear going back to the old shop to keep our legs on the edge of cramping as best we could.

As usual, we chatted it up in the old Paceline parking lot for a bit post-ride.  Dr. J dropped by to say hello as well.  He's in the rasta kit.  Scotty, foreground, munches on post-ride 'special' brownies.  That's what he called 'em anyway. 


The shorty-short stats:
Dist:  40.5mi
Time:  2:01.52
Avg:  19.8mph

Next up:  Night-time City Loop on Tuesday night.  20 miles at 18mph.  Who's in?


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