Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Riding in a Pack

Highway driving will never be the same for me. Had a big chuckle out loud when I hit the Pat Bay Highway this morning on my way to Sidney (yyj). Actually covered my mouth to stifle my laughter. I was trying to follow the car in front me's tire - like in a straight line.
I had had my first experience riding in a pack this morning with the TripleShot Pre Dawn Cafe Destination Cycling Club. Since I’m officially a roady now that I have a road bike, I gave the speed work with the pack a shot.
Insider tippers told me to stay six inches (no less) off the tire in front of me. Stay in line. If you do butt, you’ll stop. No doubt.
It’s a 6 a.m. start and I had a 15 minute ride to the meet-up. So I’m warmed up and off we go. I pulled to the back, introducing myself here and there. We get to the loop and the leader dictates the shuffle speed formation. I go for it. Appreciative of the guy who zooms ahead of me with a “Good work” under his arm. I realize he’s directing that to me and say thanks as I slinker to the very back. That’s ok I reckon to myself. At least I’m givin’ ‘er.
We spin off after four rounds to a waterfront vista and then I feel the real pull when my pair gets to the front. Exhilarating!
When I spill out it’s just in time as the big hill approaches. The infamous King George Terrace. I’ve been crawling up that hill during my own training on the old mountain bike when the pack has glided past me. This time I’m in it. Well, not for long. I’m left behind with three others. Great I think to myself. At least I’m not completely alone.
Then the fun begins. The six foot sixer passes me with a gal close behind and yells over his shoulder, “Get on, Jane.”
I do. I pull into that draft position and cruise the rest of the way to our final sprint around the Petting Zoo at Beacon Hill Park. I’m lagging but manage. Once back on the road our guy Jeremy says to me “Get on Dave’s tire for a final sprint.”
I bang up to him as best I can feeling like I need another high gear. He’s flying. I’m pumping. He gives to me a bit so I can stretch to him to Fisherman’s Wharf, something like a finish line. The heart is beating and I’m feeling like I just did an intense early morning aerobics class. I thank the guys and confirm tomorrow morning’s hills - I’ll be there.
More fun riding in the pack!

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