I really do LOVE this sport. I love just about everything about it. I love the diversity. It's really more like a bunch of different sports all rolled into one. Road, dirt, track, mixed terrain. Fast, slow, moderate, intervals. Short, long, commute, multi-day, tricks. And that's just the riding!
I also love the diversity of the people who ride bikes. Tonight was our first Midweek Madness of the 2012 season. This is the longest-running Velo Girls ride on the calendar. We started this ride in the summer of 2002, and from that group of women developed our first racing team. We've used this ride as race training, group ride training, hill climbing, and skills training. Last year, we mixed it up. We moved the ride to Mike's Bikes of Palo Alto and made it a co-ed ride. It was a great way for us to provide a service to our fabulous sponsor (Mike's Bikes). And the central location (mid-peninsula and less than a mile from CalTrain) seemed to be really popular. The pace last year was pretty fast and we focused on group riding with lots of coaching for the participants on how to handle their own bike and how to interact as a group. The route is just long enough to give everyone a good workout (20 miles). This year, we've got two ride leaders and will be able to accommodate two pace groups, which is a great way to get more newbies oriented to group riding while still keeping the pace fast for our faster riders.
I wasn't sure how I'd feel tonight. After three days on the bike (after a three-week break) and continued caloric deficit, I was a bit concerned that my legs would feel fatigued. But yesterday's mountain bike ride was good recovery and I had good legs tonight. The group was very diverse (racers, ALC riders, ADA riders, and Velo Girls members). And the ride was FUN! We kept a solid pace and were able to pretty much accommodate everyone's needs. I alternated between leading and sweeping back with the slower riders and got a few good hard efforts in between the two groups. It was chilly and windy but we kept the group moving so it wasn't unpleasant.
After a number of years fundraising for Trips for Kids, I switched my beneficiary on Plus 3 Network to the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA). It's kind of a bummer because I lose the first 3 days' kudos on the NICA leaders' board, but all good. I'll just have to work harder to get back to the top.
My plan is to go long on the mountain bike tomorrow. I'm going to ride with the Dirty Velo Girls and plan to do a full loop before the group ride. I need to build the endurance on the dirt.
|tonight's Midweek Madness crew|