Thursday, July 7, 2011

4th of July ride

Ok... So I'm trying to play catch up on my posting here. I haven't been keeping up much lately, because there's not much to talk about when you're riding all by yourself all the time. All there is, really, to say is "I rode from point A to point B and I rode this fast." That's really nothing anyone else wants to read and, really, it's not exciting enough to post about.

But 4th of July this year was a different sort of ride. I actually rode with people (GASP) and the people weren't named "me" and "myself" (LOL). I actually got to ride with a really good friend of mine, I used to ride with back in "the day", and 4 other great guys, and it was really a lot of fun.

We started out from Fun Sport Bikes (meh), but other than that the ride was great (LOL). We rode out towards Knights Ferry, the guys kept up a great pace, made me work to keep up a bit but didn't totally destroy me (I appreciate that). When I would get in a bit of trouble, and start to fall off the pace a bit, my buddy Givo would just simply push me back up in to the draft.

"Downtown" Knights Ferry.
We made it in to Knights Ferry and continued on, down in to the Park, where we were able to top off our bottles and take a minute to rest up a bit (ok, maybe I was the only one of that needed any rest) and then we pulled out and headed back out of town.  On the way back out of town, there's a bit of a hill we had to "climb" to get back out of town. It's only about a quarter of a mile. I know the riders I was with wouldn't consider it a "climb" and neither did I, back when I used to ride... But it was a "climb" for me now. When you consider the fact that I haven't riden in over 15 years (up until a couple months ago) and the fact that I'm carrying about 30 extra pounds from when I used to ride, and the fact that I'm using gears that, even when I was in good form, I would have used strictly for flat rides and flat races, the climb was a pretty good one. I had to "switchback" to lower the grade of the hill, it was a humbling experience... but I've had quite a few "humbling experiences" since getting back on the bike, it was nothing new.

I made it to the top of the hill, none the worse for wear, and Givo had waited up for me at the top. He paced me back to the rest of the guys... we made it back up to them pretty quickly actually... and we continued down the road. We had a few more rollers and just before Orange Blossom park I lost touch with the group again, this time I just couldn't keep pace. We were about 40 miles in to the 60 mile ride. I felt fine, I hadn't "blown up" or anything of that sort, I just couldn't keep up with the other guys. All the other guys I was riding with were pretty strong riders so the fact that I was dropped at that point was really no suprise. I actually had figured I would have been dropped long before that going in to the ride. I made it up the road a bit and then saw Givo... waiting for me again. I caught back up to him and he paced me back in to Oakdale, where we stopped at a Market and got some water. The other 4 guys had taken a less direct route with some rollers and ended up coming up on the Market just after we did.

After the stop at the market we continued on down the road, the other guys made the turn towards Modesto and I headed on home to Hughson on my own. Overall... I have to say... that was the best ride I've had in a long LONG time. It was a great day. I had a lot of fun riding with a group of really good guys (and strong riders) but the best part was being able to ride with one of my very best friends from the racing days... it was really great riding with Givo again, and I look forward to making the most of every opportunity I have to ride with him again in the future.

See ya out there on the road!

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