Saturday, October 22, 2005


'Tween the Waters

Today was the 13th annual Between the Waters century ride on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. The 60% chance of rain weather forecast left many in the crew reluctant to go after the drenching 2 weeks earlier at the Seagull. Others stayed home to struggle with the temptation and meaning of the "between the sheets" century.

This ride offers beautiful views, flat to slightly rolling terrain and and a long history of well marked roads and good support. The start/finish rotates each year, this year it would be in Nassawadox. I was happy to see a good group did brave the threat of bad weather to show up for the ride.

Now in my short apprenticeship as a group road rider I've learned a few things:

We rolled out in twos at a nice conversational pace, but it wasn't long before the speed increased enough to stop the talk. It was a pleasure talking to Harlan and I comfortably tucked in as he began his first long pull. My first pull felt fine and I tucked in to last position I noticing the pace had jumped. Hah! I thought Sally was behind me but nooooo. It was JDiesel - Puttin' the power down on his fixey! A real sweet looking ride. Jim said he "upped" his gearing a tooth so he wouldn't have to spin as hard. The bottom line - Here I was with a stronger rider (Haulin' Harlan) in front of me AND a stronger rider behind me. I was the cheese in a power sandwich. Three or four cycles through the line and the inevitable happened - I went OTB. This was just before our first stop at 27 miles. YIKES, this has the makings of a long day. I rolled out of the stop a bit earlier then the group just to keep my legs moving and blood flowing. As they motored by I jumped in. We'd picked up a few more and were now 10-12 strong. Well, maybe 9-11 strong and one weak (me). Pete took a good long pull, then me, then JDiesel, and once again - I was that group cycling species :

Cantkeepupwidus URoffthebackus

I try to find a steady state in these long rides, but it just wasn't happening. I got into a good groove on my own and rolled into the lunch stop at 52 miles a few minutes after the group. After a leisurely lunch I went out on my own and finished the last 50 or so miles solo with only a brief stop to refill water. The result - I did find my rhythm and finally felt strong after about 60 miles. The last 40 miles were a real joy as I gained strength and power. There were a few stretches into a slight breeze towards the end, but I finished feeling like I could go on further.

Cheers and congrats to all that rode. The group in the line - Pete, Sally, Haulin' Harlan, JimDiesel, Dag, a couple on a tandem, and a few others I don't know - great job. It was a sweeeet day to ride, and the threat of rain never materialized. I still have a lot of work to do to keep that pace. Once again I brought my camera, but left the memory chip home. JD took some photos and I'll put them up when I get 'em.

Jim, Dag, Sally and I had a wonderful dinner afterwards at Willis Wharf, one of the oldest running establishments on the Eastern Shore. We toasted another great ride (with soft drinks and water!) and enjoyed a great view as cyclists in the 20 and 40 mile rides pedalled by the screened in porch. We had some great discussions about cycling, training, and nutrition.

Dag says I need to quit this :

and have more of this:

Why? Because it's natural and makes you toot!

I'm considering it, but I'd have to give up my cult membership.




Great ride. Sounds cool.
And dude, you do drink way too much D. Coke. HA!

You're definately right! One thing at a time. I really have to revise my diet, keep publishing those recipes.

Tell JE and B-Man hi for me.

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