Thursday, April 29, 2010

Century Training - Week 7; Day 4

Week: 7
Day: 4
Ride: Pace
Route: Hilly
Scheduled Mileage: Off-Day
Actual Mileage: 13.29
Average Speed: 17.3 mph
Max Speed: 29.9 mph
*Includes city street speed average

Average BPM: 165
Max BPM: 197
Calories: 425

Another week of cycling training was completely thrown off by corporate commitments at job #1. Long hours in the office resulted in insufficient daylight to complete my evening rides. Thus, I have only gotten in roughly 13 miles so far this week in preparation for my long day on Saturday. And it's Thursday! 59 miles coming up.

But I had a fantastic ride this evening. A paceline passed me on the East Drive in Central Park. I have been learning the basics of pacelining with my cycling coach, but I know I have much more to learn before I get comfortable. And if Maddy has taught me anything thus far about becoming too comfortable on a bicycle, it's don't. Despite those facts and the fact that I did not know any of the cyclists in the paceline before me, I inadvertently fell in line with no intention of remaining in their formation for more than a few yards. However, my pedal strokes were so much easier in their draft that I stuck around a little longer. Just when I began to worry about overstaying my welcome and was about to fall off the line, I heard a cyclist say to another cyclist behind me, "This looks like the place to be."

Peering over my shoulder, I realized that three other cyclists were joining the paceline and it was obvious that none of us really belonged. So I shrugged to myself and stayed on line. I was going nearly twice the pace for virtually half the effort in the line's draft. It really was the place to be.

When we got to the Great Hill, I began to struggle a bit, but my pride would not let me create a gap in our line or pull off to the side. My heart was nearly pounding out of my chest as we neared the crest. This was definitely the fastest I had ever climbed a hill, and I was rewarded by a long coasting ride down the backside. The leader signaled to the group that she was done pulling and veered to the left to allow the second in line to take the lead. As she slowed to assume her place at the end of the line, she seemed vaguely startled to see that the line had grown to include cyclists she had likely never met, but she didn't seem to protest.

I hung with the line all the way down the west side of the park. Just before Columbus Circle, I signaled to the cyclist behind me that I was slowing and pulling out. As the line sped away, I let my gaze follow them for a second with only one thought: Pacelining rocks.

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