Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Peloton... WHAT Peloton? (Humble Pie- Part II)

So... day 2 of the SRS stop in Montgomery was a Road Race... 24 miles for Colby and 44 miles for me... The course was a 7 mile leg outbound to a 10 mile circle... so the Juniors rode out and around and back for a total of 24 miles... the Cat 5's rode out and made 3 loops then back for the 44 mile total.

Today the Cat 5's went first... so we lined up and made a rolling start...

The group of 21 took off...

we settled into 2 pace lines averaging about 22 mph... I was on the back and found out just how nice it is to take advantage of the draft line... then just as we hit the 3.5 mile mark and that slight incline you see above... BAM.. . the guys up front wanted to shake us strap hangers off... and shake us off they did... 3 of us settled into our own smaller pace line each taking a turn up front to try and bridge the gap... NO SUCH LUCK! The lead group just kept getting further and further away... one guy decided to go alone and try it on his own... I settled in with a guy named Jimmy and we worked together until we hit the next rise at 6 miles... it was my turn up front and I just put my head down and gave the climb my best effort... it wasn't until about mile 8 that I realized Jimmy was no longer behind me... in fact... I could not see a rider in front of me or behind me... I was on the country road all by myself... and that would be the case for the next 36 miles... a solo ride to the finish... I decided to just enjoy the ride and settled into a moderate pace realizing this was not a "baby step" the Neurosurgeon told me to take and this would be the longest ride I have done (if I don't count the leisure Bo Bikes Bama ride). Each pass by the KOM (King of the Mountain) checkpoint I joked with the USAC officials asking... "Is there a transition to the run up ahead?" and "I think I was tricked... is this a bike race?"... it was a long solo ride but I enjoyed it just the same... officially I finished 16 out of 21 and almost 40 minutes behind the winner but in my mind I won by just finishing... each of us have goals... and mine was achieved.

The juniors started 2 hours after my start... so when I was on the stretch back to the finish I passed Colby on the outbound leg and he was down on the drops hammering away... "Race your own race buddy boy!!"... to which I got a thumbs up... so once I finished we (Sherri, Maddison, Sydney and I) got in my truck and drove out the course to find him... he was about 6 miles from the finish when we pulled up along side of him to yell encouraging words... he again was down on the drops and hammering away... so we sped ahead to watch him finish... IT WAS AWESOME... a bunch of folks had stuck around to cheer on the Juniors as they finished... the last 200 meters was a closed course.. and when he hit the sign he stood up on the pedals and sprinted to the finish like he was in a sprint for a Tour de France stage win... AWESOME!!! After a short cool down ride he made his way back to the parking lot... took off his helmet and headed straight over to one of the other Junior riders who finished just ahead of him... he wanted to thank him for the advice he gave him throughout the day and for teaching him how to ride a pace line... as it turns out they rode together for most of the day with each taking a turn up front... AWESOME!!! His numbers were fantastic... he rode 24 miles in 1:26 with a 16.8 mph average... I could not be more proud of him and his accomplishment... his longest ride to date!

{Insert Jack Handey intro} At the end of the day... you have to reflect on your own goals and fight the tendency to compare yourself to others... each of us are different... with different challenges... different schedules... different motivations.. different goals.... and what might appear an utter failure or waste of time by some may actually be a goal achieved by another... keep that in mind... enjoy the journey and encourage others to join in and share it with you... watching them succeed in their own pursuit is the most rewarding achievement from my perspective! I am a proud Dad and cherish the opportunities I have to share this passion with my son!

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