We started out nice and easy. And then I heard a crack sound. My jacket pocket was open and my cell phone fell out. So Wingman and I stopped to pick it up. The group waited ahead for us and we caught up again. I could feel a little fatigue early on and my nose was running like crazy. But otherwise I was doing OK. Wingman showed some early promise. He stood up and blew right by me. I thought I heard his sonic boom as he broke the sound barrier (or maybe it was just gas).
I was worried because coming later on in the ride was my nemesis, 'Mt. Ventoux' (CR 51). I have to say I was a little worried about the hill. It would appear around mile 14/15 in this ride. But as Wynn told me earlier in the week, I had to HTFU and just ride up. Before we got there, I could start to feel the heat. I was dressed well for the weather, but I started to heat up now. I stripped the gloves and put them away. I even unzipped part of my jacket. And there it was staring down at me, Mt. Ventoux.
Oddly enough, I made it up OK. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. But needless to say, I was getting pooped. At this point the rest of the ride was flat, but I felt bad because I felt like I was slowing the group down. All along CR 51 I was coughing and it slowed me down. I just had this nagging feeling like a tickle/irritation in the back of my throat and it would force me to cough to clear it. I think after a few more outdoor rides I will be ready to roll with my fellow warriors! It was impressive to watch Ian and Joan on the tandem. They looked so smooth and effortless in their pedaling. I am trying to convince them to get this bad boy:
We made it safely back to Ian and Joan's with no mishaps or flat tires. We avoided all loose debris on the rode and we kept the rubber side down. Ian and Joan prepared lunch for us and Teresa stopped by to join us. She was feeling a little bit better and said she will be ready to run tomorrow.
Warriors (l. to r.) Wynn, Ian, Joan, Wingman, me