Ever get dropped by a group of riders you’re used to pace-lining with?
That’s what happened to me Sunday when I took my first club ride of the season after a nearly two-month winter layoff.
The posted ride description sounded innocent enough: About 33 miles, mostly long flats with a couple of hills sprinkled in.
Forty-five miles and a series of steady climbs later, I limped back to the parking lot last out of seven riders, five to ten minutes behind the main group.
The last six miles were straight into a gusting wind and I climbed the last hill at about 4 mph – about half the speed I hit during the season. My legs didn’t ache – they just didn’t respond.
The guys looked at me pityingly as I sat on the bumper of my car, waiting for the strength to pull off my shoes and load my bike into the hatchback.
They other riders had more miles than me this year; some rode year-round.
So much for cross training. Nothing substitutes for miles in the saddle.
Now I’ve got to play catch-up: It’s three weeks to my first ride lead of the season.