Big John (shown above) and I worked the Frostbite TT yesterday. Although this is a shot of John doing that race back in 2009 he is just as handsome in 2013.
The weather cooperated and I was able to take my "summer" bike on the weekly team ride. As the usual suspects gathered I noted this was kind of an all star ride. These were all fast guys. Brad wasn't on his 650B slow bike and that was a tip off. Seabiscuit was on his Ti racer, McWoodie was on a Ti and carbon speed machine. Michael was on his carbon bike as was Moonlight when we hooked up on the island. Aaron joined us after chasing us all the way down from the hill and he is always ready to roll.
We assembled after crossing to the island and paused for a moment while riders removed layers and I downed some Hammer gel. Hammer gel will be my caloric intake of choice during my 2013 road racing debut next week, so I thought I would make sure my body could accept it without incident.
I have learned by sad experience that if I lag at the start my options are to work extra hard when the break happens or start thinking autobus right from the start. I was on Moonlight's (Fred's) wheel and there were a few moments of friendliness before Seabiscuit started driving off the front. Moonlight and McWoodie shook their heads, paused and then we all jumped to close the gap. Soon we were moving fast and I took a healthy pull. When I dropped back I was surprised to find that despite our serious speed, all seven riders were still together.
After a couple rotations we hit the hill and the false flat of death. I was second wheel and at the top I was still second wheel and McWoodie who lives to make me scream on that section of Mercer took to the front and drove the pace. I held my ground and we were soon swooping back and forth on the endless S Curves. I let a small gap form and was struggling to close it. About that time Big John (a.k.a. Seabiscuit) dropped back and I let him fill the gap and I was hanging on as there were now only four of us flying along. My left calf was twitching as if I had a cramp coming, but I used my powers of denial and kept pedaling.
We were still tight as the sprints opened up and Fred went left, McWoodie up the middle and Seabiscuit, who had been taking the last pull was on the right. I was just damn happy to be there and since we were already going almost fifty kilometers per hour, it took all I had to just stay upright.
On the way back I kept it real and soon it was time for coffee and lies.
COFFEE AND LIES
Feral Dave was waiting for us at the cafe and had a table ready. I had been asking about him two hours earlier as he is usually a faithful member of our band of merry men on Sunday mornings. I had not seen him for several weeks and was wondering what he was up to. It was good to see him again. We weren't seated next to each other so we didn't get as much of a chance to catch up as I would have liked. We did exchange a moment of eye contact when we asked how each other were doing that reminded me that our band of brothers really does care how each other is doing.
While it is fun to try and go fast on a bike, not only are there more important things than bike riding, there are in fact few things less important than going fast on a bike.