Monday, May 7, 2007

On Not Racing

So this weekend there was no bike race! Ack! I was in withdrawal for awhile...but instead got to spend most of my weekend on the bike anyway, so it turned out well.

The weather could not have been more beautiful. The only downside is that due to my fair complexion and ability to burn/tan easily, my cycling tan gives away my addiction way too easily. I even have tan fingers with a big line where my short gloves end! Ack...I'm so not a fashion statement these days! But those leg muscles....

Anyway, I re-converge. So this weekend I got to remember how much fun the social rides are! (and tiring, too!). On Saturday, I started out with the normal Echelon ride. It was much bigger than the last few times I had attended, probably because there weren't any nearby races on Saturday. That ride is a reasonable pace through Santa barbara and Goleta, and then there is a rolling section that takes Cathedral Oaks out to Glen Annie, where there is usually a sprint. This week, the speed was not crazy--I was able to stay up near the front without working too hard. I like to be up front cause its' usually safer...but due to the slower speed this week we were all bunched up leading into what is usually the final sprint. As luck would have it, some contact was made and a couple people went down. No one was hurt though, and we were reminded that this really IS a training ride...and that the sprints don't matter THAT much! That excitement passed, and a small group of us headed out to Refugio road for some extra miles. It was a good ride, and I was pleased to see the fitness jump I've made since the last time I went out there. We were going at a reasonable tempo pace, and I didn't get dropped like a rock on the freeway like I used to! I was able to hang in and take advantage of the drafting and felt strong the whole ride. My total for that ride was about 65 miles. It was a beautiful day to be on the bike.

Sunday was another Echelon ride, this one organized out in the Valley. We did a nice figure-8 type loop around Los Olivos, hitting towns including Los Alamos, Sisquoc, solvang, and the wine trail of foxen canyon. Also a lovely ride, good pace, strong people to draft off of (key for me) and a lot of lovely climbing. My legs were feeling a bit beaten up by the end of that ride, as I had done a lot of climbing this weekend...but it was all fun. I met some new people (one of these days I'll actually learn the NAMES of the nice people I ride with), and had a great time. And plus, it's all good practice for I'll have to get used to the repeated beating up of my body on that one!

So...although I didn't race this weekend, I did have a lot of fun social time on the bike..and I realized that I had kind of been missing that when I race all the time! I guess it takes a balance...just like most things in life.


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