Coming off the tremendous high from last week’s Monster Climbs adventure, I was ready for long, hard rides this week. Unfortunately, my legs are not. I’m surprised at how long it’s taking for me to recover my A-game after the grueling punishment of last weekend.
I went out Monday for 20 miles of high-RPM / low-HR spinning around the lake and was sore and tired by the time I got home. On Wednesday, I took my bike down to Torrey Pines for 40 miles and really suffered climbing the last few miles back into Scripps Ranch.
We had Julian on the menu for this week’s Descenders ride and I really babied my effort on the way out. I was the last one up Poway Rd, last up to Ramona, didn’t push it very hard on Dye Rd and was last to the top of Old Julian Hwy too. But conserving my energy didn’t leave me feeling very sprightly either. It was starting to hurt and I wasn’t feeling very happy about continuing on to Santa Ysabel and Julian. There was a suffer-fest waiting for me down the road.
When riding in a big group of guys, not wanting to look like a wiener, it can be tough to tell everyone you don’t have the legs and are turning around for home. I went through the whole story in my head while climbing Old Julian Hwy and resolved to bail out. When I got to the top, everyone circled around and pointed back to home – they wanted to cut it short too! Right on!
The best part of cutting the ride short was that I no longer had to conserve my energy in “survival” mode, I could cut it up a bit and be sporty with the guys. So, I took off back down Old Julian Hwy, putting in enough of a dig to get the attention of the boys who came flying after me. Old Julian Hwy trends downhill so attack speeds are 30-40 mph, but there are some up-kicks in there that make you really work to stay ahead. We traded leads down the mountain in a fast, exciting line. I barely out sprinted Guido at the end, when the road take a right back to town.
On the team paceline back through Ramona, Guido and I talked about attacking Voris, just to tweak his shorts a little. We waited until near the end of Dye Rd. When Voris was trapped in the go-back line behind Sheehan, Guido and I took off and gapped the group. Maybe it wasn’t such a big gap, but it was fun doing the planning and execution.
And because we didn’t use up all our energy getting to Julian, we took Highland Valley Road home, as a special treat. HVR is a favorite of the Descenders and we hammered it even though we all told each other that we’d have a nice slow pace home. I’m starting to get good at this descending thing, although I pale in comparison to Guido and Sheehan who are absolute rocketmen.
At the end of the day, I’d racked 70 miles and had much, much more fun than if I’d suffered to Julian on B-game legs. Some time you just have to say ‘No’ to pie 🙂