Thursday, June 11, 2009

Dropped Like A Bag of Hammers

Wednesday night Tall Tree group ride in the park. There were about eight or nine us that met at the gate for some Gatineau road fun . . . . I use the word 'fun' loosely . . . . turned out to be more like suffering for me.

Kaaa-boooom! I blew up and that's the last I saw of the group until Champlain.
Bye group.

For the first 25 minutes that I was able to hang on. By the base of the King Mtn climb I had blown up. Matt was nice enough to give me a strong push to try and get back on to the pack, which I was almost able to do, but not before being completely dropped. Road riding in groups is tough (at least for me) - pay attention to the pace, stay on the wheel ahead of you, spin the legs when you can, recover every chance you get, don't get dropped - easier said than done.

By the time I got to the Champlain lookoff everyone was waiting for me. Nothing more humbling that being the last rider. Meh. No egos in the group (except for my bruised one) - everyone riding is out for a ride and a good time. That's what I like about this ride. Don't get me wrong though, the pace is certainly pushed.

I discovered another thing about this group ride - it's not boring. Once at Champlain, the group consensus was to ride the #1 (a gravel dirt road) to the #2 (a gravel ski trail that has been groomed and manicured so much that it's smoother than most footpaths), which hooks on the #40 that dumps you out onto Meech Lake Rd. The descent down #2 and the #40 was a bit sketchy at times - a few rocks here a few rocks there, some loose gravel, etc. I managed to do a two wheel drift with my ass end hanging out around a tight corner, on 700 x 23c road tires, one foot clipped in, narrowly missing going into a ditch. Who said road ride was boring? I never thought that I'd be using my road bike for dirt trails, but it was a hoot nonetheless.

Re-grouping at a fork on the dirt paths. Spandex, shaved legs, narrow tires just seemed a little out of place on the dirt trail.

Rodd and Greg riding along Meech Lake.

Once out on Meech Lake Rd it was an out and back to the end, then we headed towards the Fortune Climb. Once at the base I bailed and opted to ride out with Candace and Greg. I had nothing left in the legs. The weekend might have pooched them, but I think it has more to do with not being very smart at riding in groups. It could also be due to the extra five pounds that I put on in the last two days of eating strictly Blizzards and pizza, trying to make up for the weight loss on my bike from going to a rigid. Meh. It was fun regardless of how sucky I am.


The Vegan Vagabond said...

that is hilarious that you guys rode the 40!

this is why you need to ride with me, to boost the ego back up between these crazy fast tall trees rides.

Peter Keiller said...

i find my biggest and bestest performances come within the week or so that follows this kind of physical disintegration.

real racey types call it 'overtraining' i call it peaking!

sunday should be least there will be more ss riders then there are levels on the podium!

Anonymous said...

friggen 40 is a blast! Love doing it on a cross bike.
What yah have to try is that salamander trail in fortune on a cross bike. If yah can master that, I think it would be a real friggen shit face grin of a good time. It's a flowy sort of trail.
The 2 is also a fun darling. I use to do it on the mtb, I have yet to do it on the cyclocross. They were working on it last year.

My favourite cross bike sort of ride has to be the 3 though. That trail is just faaaaast!
(hope they don't flatten anymore though, the 9 is a blast on a mtb and so is the 8,7,17,6,32 etc... if they wreck those trails, it will be a damn shame)

Someone should organize a night race.
From Gamelin via road then cut out via the trail across the Hickory trail (I forget the name of that place...) then up the 15 to the 1 down the 24 to the 40 up the 2 to the 1 down the 3 then road to the 32 to CF to the 4 down Penquin then road back to Gamelin.

Big Bikes said...

I suck at riding in groups on the road as well and I have gained five pounds. We have so much in common... it's eerie.

I have a theory that Ontario is like Bizarro world for Massachusetts and you are the Canadian me. If I meet you and you have a goatee and pointy, scary eyebrows, I am totally gonna freak.


the original big ring said...

VV - you need to be doing these rides with me - I need the company on those climbs!

Peter - we should make a pact to ride the marathon together and I'll jam a stick into your spokes the last km

Anon - lots of trail out there

Thom - maybe we're soul mates?! Guess we'll meet up at the 101 - I'll bring the Tim's.

cheers all.