I had the bike properly fit and put on new tires on the newer wheels. this bike was ready to roll! The group ride was my first ride with multiple people. I can tell you that with only six people around me, I had to get used to just knowing where they were at all times. Developing a pivoting head is necessary as well as slow movements so I don’t freak others out or overlap wheels (a horrible and painful way to the ground at 30mph). I was in the B group. The A group already left and they are the fast guys who compete in area events sometimes. The B group split into two halves. the faster guys who aren’t yet ready for the A group and then the B riders who just aren’t able to put in the power due to physical limitations or age or whatever. they can still travel far and have endurance, but blistering along at 25mph for a while is past their own personal limits. I started off riding along. Once we got out of the busy streets into the countryside things opened up. I was along with the slower riders for a while, probably 10-15 minutes, then I began to make it worse for myself. Add some more speed, getting a bit of a workout. that’s why i’m here. Not just exercise but to get better. So I caught up to the lead of the B group. their pace was a good one. I don’t normally press on that hard for longer range cruising but I suppose I should now. It wasn’t too bad. there is just a touch of burn in the knees involved in that speed. If I pressed on the burn would be much more and I wouldn’t be able to hold that pace. that’s the glycogen I’m burning away. My fuel! Burn just a teeny bit going along the flat grounds, burn more going up a hill, relax a bit on the other side and recover, then burn a little bit again. That’s the way i’m doing it.
Pace lines. that is interesting. It’s when a group of guys ride in a single file line but rotate positions. the guy in back moves over and pulls to the front of the line and then moves over to the front and relaxes a bit while the next guy in line follows him up to the front and takes that position. Done right, the whole group rides much faster than they would have before and saves power in the end. the problem is it takes coordination and knowing those around you. If the guy in front is too fast the others don’t get that rest they need to make the pace line work. I was in my first line and after two rotations I wound up not slowing down enough….they couldn’t catch me. I thought I did slow down enough but It’s all a learning thing. that’s why we’re all here.
So 18 miles in one hour. I am very happy with that average. there were a few rises and descents but nothing drastic. the good news is that I was completely fine on the seat. No soreness as before. No back aches beyond normal forty-year-old stuff. No shoulder strain. I felt fine. There was easily another 10 or 15 miles in me if we were to keep going. This is going to be a fun summer if I can only get a schedule that works for group rides. Solo riding is good, but groups are a lot more fun. Especially when followed by a nitro porter and quesadillas.