Sunday, May 1, 2011

One gear, one rider

April in the Northwest has been exceptionally cold, with our average highs about 10 degrees below normal. We've had more than enough of our share of drizzle in the 40s.

So, when Saturday showed the possibility of dodging rain drops even while still being cold, my regular group of riding partners was very eager to get out. I'm still in marathon mode, in the middle of my taper for Sunflower but still in 1-speed mindset for riding.

We had a big group for us and headed out - a mixture of tri-bikes, road bikes, and me on my 42x16 1-speed. It immediately became clear that I was going to be bringing up the far, far rear as the others kept riding away from me. I can only manage to hold about 18mph with this bike and they were clearly going faster.

As we headed out through Newport Hills I almost turned away as they attacked these monster steep hills with me struggling to turn over my pedals. They kindly waited for me at stop lights and hill tops until we turned onto May Valley road.

Then they were off in a testosterone-fueled hammerfest with me dragging along farther and farther in the rear. By the time I was half-way to the Issaquah Hobart Road junction they were no where to be seen.

Since I hate the section of road from the junction south towards the Tiger Mt. store I opted for the gravel bypass. This meant that I turned up a dead end road just before the intersection then rode through the gravel, bushes, and mud to cut over to the road. I hoped that they'd be stopped at the Tiger Mt. store, but no one was there so I figured I was on my own.

That was it for group riding for the day: mono me and my mono gear bike south past Hobart then to Maple Valley and the Maple Valley Trail back to Renton, around the South end of Lake Washington and my last push home.

It never rained on me even though it threatened. I worked hard the whole time and covered a wee bit over 50 miles.

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