Thursday, June 5, 2014

Not a Perfect Ride

After the idyllic ride on Tuesday, I was hopeful this morning could be a repeat. The weather was similarly mild and virtually windless, and I was sure the racers would be tapering for the Tour de LA this weekend. The first sign that perfect rides don't come every day was the huge, pink dump truck which nearly ran me over on River Road. There is a stark and very scary difference between these two situations, both of which were encountered on the way to the start: 1) a compact Toyota waiting until the oncoming lane is clear and then straddling the centerline to pass me with eight feet between us; and 2) an incredibly loud, earth-shaking, pink behemoth trying to squeeze between me and a solid line of oncoming traffic. I survived, but my hopes of a repeat were dashed before the ride even started.
Looking downriver from the stables. The next move will end it for city dwellers.
Actually the ride out to Ormond was very much like Tuesday: a smooth 24/25 mph paceline with almost everyone in the rotation. The ride in was something altogether different.

At the Turnaround

By the time we got out to Destrehan, we had grown to more than 20 riders. Woody, who sat in all the way out (thank you Tour de LA), turned shortly after the Luling Bridge and headed back to town immediately. Several other people turned before the benches, and by the time those who rode to the end were rolling again, we were split into several groups with Woody a quarter of a mile up the road intent on getting to work on time. So most of us had to chase immediately almost all the way to the Big Dip. When everything came together again, the pace remained somewhat quicker than the outgoing journey and the southerly crosswind was freshening. But once I was able to recover a bit things were okay until we hit the open area near Williams Blvd., where nothing impedes the southerly crosswinds coming off of the river. For reasons I will never be able to comprehend, some people still apparently haven't grasped the fact that Vega and Ray get out at Williams and when they start softing it as we approach that location, it isn't an invitation to sit in their draft. Gaps started opening, and a group of us (Rich, Tom, Keith N., Scott S., Leann and I) lost contact.

Another thing I probably will never get is why some insist on punishing themselves after getting dropped, riding as if there is some hope of catching the group fading into the distance. Well we punished ourselves all the way to the playground, and I felt thoroughly thrashed when I got home. I jumped in the pool to cool the core and then had to crash on the sofa for an hour before I could get anything productive done.

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