.......the letter H, as in "Holy hell, Hotchkiss is hammering the hills."
After yesterday's swim, Mary Ellen and Bruce said they would wait for me to go home and get my bike so I could ride with them. I enjoy riding with other people because it can take you out of your comfort zone and make you push a little harder. And I realized early on, I would be waaaaaaaaay out of my comfort zone.
We mounted our bikes at the county center and rode south on CR 51. I was behind Bruce and when I saw how his hamstring tendons were visible almost halfway up the back of his thigh, I knew this was going to be rough. At this point I just wanted to stay in eye sight of him. When we got to Mont Ventoux (the site of the infamous hill repeats) he stood up and disappeared. I did manage to climb it 2-3 mph faster than I did in the past. When I got to the top I didn't feel too bad and did not have that sense of impending doom that I just killed my whole ride. I was actually quite excited at how quickly I got to the top. Well......quickly for me. I attribute it all to my Dance, Dance Revolution brick workout from Tuesday.
From here we made our way to CR 111 to head north. Again, I was feeling really good and pushed myself to keep up with Bruce, who by the way, was long gone at this point. He totally killed that hill. I kept my eye on Mary Ellen as she was not too familiar with the area. CR 111 has some nice wide shoulders and a nice gradual downhill that you can pickup speed easily on. When I got to Halsey Manor Road, Bruce was waiting for us. I got the rest of the route information from him in case we split up again.
From Halsey Manor we made our way into Calverton onto my new favorite riding road, Mill Road. I was giddy with excitement at the thought of soon passing my Dance, Dance Revolution mat that was tossed aside with some other trash. But we would not be stopping today.
On Mill Road I rode along side Bruce and we discussed bike wheels and components. Something the Wingman would not be happy about. As thoughts danced in my head about new wheels, ceramic bearings, etc., I could hear him say "You don't need new wheels. You're not getting new wheels."
Where we are riding is nice because there is very little traffic (I think only one car went by) and the road is nice and twisty. As we made our way north, you could feel the wind pickup. I was on my road bike so I went into the drops and kept hammering away trying to catch Bruce. At the corner of 25 and Wading River Road, he was waiting for us. We made the turn and I thought we just had a few more miles to go, but no. He had other plans. We rode back to Edwards Ave and I thought we would go straight down to the county center (CR 51). Nope. Sucks to be me today. We went back to CR 51 via reversing the route (Mill, Halsey Manor, CR 111, CR 51). After we crossed over CR 51, that would be the last we would see of Bruce on the ride. No matter how hard I tried, I could not reel him in. I felt really good pushing myself along the way though. I welcome the opportunity to try and ride with him again.
When Mary Ellen and I got back to the county center, Bruce already had his bike put away on top of his car and his sneakers on for his run. My goal for next time is to tether a line to his bike (without him knowing) and hang on the back!