Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Hot Tuesday Evening Ride with the Independent Group

The Weatherbug application showed that the temperature in Holmdel, NJ was above 100 degrees. I was trying to decide if I really wanted to go out the heat. The ride starts at 6 PM so it was not going to cool down much before the start. I decided that I would go out for an easy warmup ride and then swing by Holmdel Park to see who showed up for the ride.

The warm up was about 12 miles. Even though I took it easy I still climbed Telegraph Hill and Holmdel Road around the back of Holmdel Park. These are the highest points in Monmouth County.

When I got to Holmdel Park there were only two other riders in the parking lot. Since it was already close to 6 PM it looked like it was going to be a sparsely attended ride. This was fine with me since I decided that evening's ride was going to be a no twitch ride. I was going to stay in the back and if things got to crazy I was going to just fall off.

Just as the 3 of us got ready to hit the road a couple of other riders showed up. I think we had 7 riders all together. It turned out that some of the other regular riders had decided to go over to Sandy Hook and take advantage of the breeze blowing off of the Atlantic.

I followed my strategy for the first part of the ride. I dropped back on one of the early climbs but I caught up on the next downhill. After that I was able to stay with the group.

As we made the turn to return back I started to feel better. Some of the other riders were starting to fall to the back. As I hit Dutch Lane I team up with another rider who told me that he was feeling surprisingly well. He wanted to ride fast and since I know the route I agreed to kick it to the next light. I figured I would catch my breath at the light but the rider wanted to see how the next stretch would go so I got in line and off we went. We had a good pace but it was not that much fun for me. My body was aching. I figured that I would get a few minutes to rest at the next turn.

The first group caught up with us quicker than I expected. I originally thought we would return as a group but another rider joined us and the 3 of us started to pull away from the rest. We ended up screwing up the left hand turn and I lost contact with the other two. I was going to push up the medium climb and catch up but I decided to let them go so I shifted into a smaller gear and set a reasonable pace for home.

In the end I got 42 miles in. I can live with that.

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