Tuesdays at the port

February 7, 2007 § Leave a comment

Last night I went to the locally (in)famous Port of Oakland ride. It was my first since late August and definitely earlier than I started last year, but with all these fast races coming up it’s time to do some speedwork.

My normal pattern for these rides is to head down an hour early to warm up (they claim to have two warm up laps before the pain starts, but I’ve never actually seen that happen), take a pull or two during the first lap (I’ll admit it, I like the street cred that comes with being seen at the front), hang on for another lap or two before I’m dropped, then try to get in with the second group when they come around again. Last night was a little different, though.

During my warm-up a local dad egged me on to “get a real warm-up,” so I joined a couple of younguns for some of their sprints…felt those right away, but they didn’t completely trounce my ego. When the big group came through I hopped up to second wheel to take some pulls right off the bat, and when I got to the front I felt so good that I slowly notched it up a bit until five of us ended up off the front of the group. Later I heard some guys complaining about the fact that it got fast so soon into the ride…it was nice to be the jerk who put it down for once.

Our little break of five did get reabsorbed, but I managed to hold out for longer than usual with the big group. When my legs really started screaming I pulled out of the rotation & was surprised to find that the big group had dropped about half of the people it started with, and that it was just me and fifteen or so guys by then. Of course, that made me want to get back in it, but I’m glad that I pulled out before I went so far into the red that I would be too tired for this weekend’s festivities. And I gloated all the way home.

It could be that the position tweak I made at the suggestion of a friend gives me a touch more power. Personally I like to think I’m just plain getting strong. Or maybe it’s the coconut buns.

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