Sunday, July 13, 2008

An early morning Saturday Ride to Manasquan Inlet

Woke up before 6 AM on Saturday and I decided I would get an early ride in. The plan was to leave the house at 7 AM and be back by 10 AM so that I could watch the end of the Tour de France Stage 8.

So I made coffee, let the dog out and had a light breakfast of fresh blueberries (they are in season now here in New Jersey). Since I had set the bike up for a ride on Friday evening that I never got around to taking I was already to go. I was out of the house by 7 AM. As I was riding I remembered that there is an 8 AM ride that leaves Dorbrook Park in Colts Neck so I started to make my way over to the park. It is about 11 miles to the park from my house. I was going to hit some hills on the way but I wanted to make sure I got there on time so I took a more direct route.

I have never rode with this group before but some of folks ride in the Tuesday - Thursday Holmdel Park rides. This group is a little be older than the 8 AM ride out of the Colts Neck Muni Center. In fact I think that I am one of the younger riders even though I am 46.

The ride is around 50 miles and I figured that I would get a little over 70 miles for the day. By the time I got back to the house my computer showed that I had completed just short of 81 miles for the day.

The group rides at an A/A+ pace but the atmosphere is laid back. Since most of the riders have been riding in the area for years they have a bunch of planned stops. Since I have never rode with this group I was not sure of the ride rules. After about a 30 minutes into the group ride my morning coffee was kicking in and I needed to make a "nature break". I was thinking of falling off the back but I was afraid of getting lost so I figured I would suffer until some of the other riders had to do the same. Eventually there was an opportunity to sprint down a long straight road. I got in the line of riders that wanted to go fast figuring that I would have a few minutes at the regroup spot before the main group met up with us. It pretty much worked out as I expected but a mile down the road the group called a "nature break". I wish I had known that before. Oh well I wanted to get a sprint in.

We made our way down to the Manasquan Inlet. The group stopped at a cool cafe that was close to the beach and right on the inlet. I wish that I had brought my camera but I forgot to stick it in my pocket before I left. Lots of surfers were coming off the beach after their morning sessions. The picture above is a group of long boarders that surf out of Manasquan.

I was a little freaked out about a long stop in the middle of a ride. However, I looked down at my computer and I was just short of 50 miles. No harm in smelling the flowers. I did not sit down though because I still had 30 plus miles to ride and I did not want my muscles to tighen up.

It was a good ride and I would definitely ride with this group again. My style of riding is not very group friendly. When I ride by myself I ride hard when I feel good, I back off to catch my breath and then I go back to going hard. This style does tend to wear me out but since these are training rides (not really sure what I am training for) I do not mind. However, this kind of riding does not go over well with the group. I do get frustrated but I am a guest in this group so I try to behave myself.

I wish I could find 2 or 3 like minded riders that will go out on a consistent basis. There are a couple 2 and 3 rider training groups that I see around. I would come across this groups a lot last summer on the Langster. I have not really run into them that much this year.

I was planning on getting out early today and riding with the 7 AM group at Bike Haven but here it is 10:30 AM and I am writing this blog entry. I am also watching the final climb on stage 9. I am thinking of going out on the Langster for a 20 - 30 mile ride later today.

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