Yesterday was 41 miles with the AIDS Lifecycle training group. We have a mix of every kind of rider, gristly veteran roadies to riders with kick stands and even a guy on a mt. bike. To see us rolling up to a light, we are really a group of misfits. Currenlty we have 2 rides, this week we had a standard route of 34 miles and the advanced route of 41 miles.
Marc and I are riding the advanced option and Molly is riding the standard option. Marc and I have been riding together steadily for about 2 years. We know each others strengths and weaknesses. I know that Marc starts and finishes strong and I peak in the middle. He is a sprinter and I am a climber, together we make the perfect cyclist. But we have spent so much time riding just the two of us, we are having trouble in a group situation. Like an awkward teenager who spends to much time on-line. I am not fast enough out of the gate to keep up with the hammer heads in the group and we are faster than the next group back. We end up much of the training ride just the two of us. I feel like we are missing a component of the ride.
Molly, on the other hand, is having a great time on her rides meeting new friends and riding with a different folks on each ride. She is getting training and the social aspect of the group rides. Now I can slow downs and take breaks in order to hang out, but is that helping me in training? The group takes a break (usually at a Starbucks) half way through the ride. I stop, down a pack of Honey Stingers and some water and I am ready to go. The group grabs a coffee and a pastry and take a 15-20 minute break. I can't wait that long, my legs get cold and it is like starting the ride all over. I need to get moving! But I feel bad that I don't hang out, but for me it is too hard on my legs.
Regardless, we have met so many great and kind cyclists and I am so excited to make more friends. Anytime you can meet a group of people who are willing to wake up early on a Saturday to go for a chilly ride, start temp was 46 (that is freezing here), you know you are in good company. I can't wait for next week!