The Excellent Wife (TEW) has been gearing up for the All-Paces ride scheduled by the Princeton Freewheelers for today. She has had her eye on the D+ ride, and said that if she met her mileage and pace goals, she wanted to come with me to do that ride while I did one at my pace; she is eager to meet some more of the club members (and she realizes that if I'm going to ride as much as I do, one of the ways to spend more time together is for her to ride, too). So off we sent this morning to Mercer Park for the 9am start.
Now, let me tell you some of my thinking that wound up not working out very well: I usually add miles to my rides, and I wouldn't be doing that today because TEW isn't about to add miles. So I figured, instead of adding miles, I'd do a B+ ride; perhaps that would be about the same effort. So, although Tom H and a few friends decided to do a pickup ride, I decided to go out with John & Jane D. Laura OLPH decided to go with them, too.
We did this route.There was a woman who came along with John W who has ridden mostly C+/B rides, and I figured if she was along, I'd certainly be able to keep up.
We started with eighteen, including Sergei, with whom I rode a bit a few years ago. Sergei's a bit of a charger-ahead, and we weren't far into the ride when he and three others missed a turn (they were far ahead of the leader), and we were down to fourteen. I swept for a while, and did my turn at the front of the group as well. We did a number of roads I remember from Winter Larry's rides (we passed the Russian Church), and went up the hill at Rues that I remember coming down a number of times with the Old Guys.
Going up the hill at Rues, though, I noticed problems breathing and dull neck and chest pain (no, not heart-attack stuff, just exhaustion). I'm sure I neither drank nor ate enough, and I didn't sleep well last night, and all that, I'm sure, was catching up to me. Pride, however, would not let me let on how tired I was.
Another rider, later, seemed to be tiring and having trouble in a headwind. Having a bit more energy than he, I gave him a pull into the wind, but, truth to tell, I was grateful for the opportunity to fall behind the group. We stopped to gather at an intersection, and, shortly after that, I couldn't find him among the riders; I think he fell behind. I caught up to John & Jane, who thought he was ahead, but then they didn't see him either, and went back to get him. I had sat down in the shade, and, when the rest of the group got up to go on, I was dizzy when I stood up. It cleared a bit when I got on the bike, but I still didn't have the speed I had earlier.
I maintained a B+ pace on the flats and downhills, but on the slightest upgrade I slowed way down. I eventually made it back to Mercer Park (remember that woman who'd done the C+/B rides? We had a conversational exchange about, "I'm done." "Me too."). I got the last soda out of the cooler, and made TEW drive home.
Her good news, though,was that she had done her D+ ride, and had a good time... and her computer was still under-registering, so she is faster and goes farther than she thinks (she was ALL bucked up by that news!). And she would ride with the group again, and she's thinking of getting a road bike (her fellow riders were urging her to do so!).
So I'm happy to say that it seems there will be more rides that both of us do in the future. And I'll try not to be an idiot about overexerting myself, and being too proud to admit it, next time.
Y'know what else? It may be partly because I didn't know these people that well, but this ride wasn't as chatty as the B rides I usually do. That's a lot of the reason I like groups and club rides, and I missed that today. I guess every now and again I gotta get my speed on, and over-extend myself (and pay for it), but I'm going back to B rides. For a while, anyway.