Great cycling starts here!

Damp won’t dampen our spirits

The Peloton group started the morning at Karen’s Bakery with about 17 riders – and 2 more planning to meet up on the route. It wasn’t terribly cold, but it was rather foggy and damp. Nonetheless we started out in great spirits. We modified the planned route just slightly after hearing about a rather large amount of mud covering our intended route. Not a huge detour, but it kept us entirely off of the American River bike trail until we rejoined it at the Guy West bridge.

The entire first half of the ride was pretty steady, except for the string of stop lights that cycled a little too quickly to get the entire group through. No sprints or attacks, so as we started to come into Discovery park I decided to try my luck.

I came from about fourth position and pulled off the front. It didn’t feel like anyone had immediately followed me, so I settled into a steady pace that I thought was still faster than the group, waiting to see if anyone would follow.

I started to hear what sounded like rubber rolling across wet pavement. I notched up the pace a little bit. Then I heard the sound of gears and knew someone was on me. I pulled harder, pushing up the pace, still not sure who had taken the bait. A quick glance past my right elbow – and there was still a wheel right on me. Damn. I pushed the pace up faster as the lactic acid started to build in my legs. There didn’t seem to be any moves to attack, so I took a chance and let up slightly, hoping for a few seconds of recovery before pouring it into an all out sprint. Right at that moment Brian pulled around me with one other rider right on his wheel (who was that second chaser??) I was caught out, tried to catch the wheel but missed it. Damn. I was beat. I rolled the rest of the way into Discovery park – out maneuvered and out gunned.

Unfortunately, both bathrooms and water are still shut off at Discovery park, so after a few folks braved the temporary porta-potty, we rode through Old Sacramento, Captain’s Table road and stopped at the rest rooms at Scott’s Seafood. Somewhere between Discovery Park and Scott’s Seafood we lost a few riders – two of whom were Stan and Brian. After waiting a bit while folks used the restrooms or filled up water bottles, we decided to push on.

We cruised down Riverside – which was almost completely covered in an oil slick (!!!) and rolled into the Pocket area. Here, Riverside becomes a 4 lane Boulevard, with wide lanes, so we were able to group up two abreast and push the pace up a little bit until turning onto Greenhaven and essentially starting our trip back home. It felt like we had a nice tail wind here, because the pace picked up, yet I was pedaling easier. For the record, any rumors you hear about an alleged botched attempt to clip in at the Florin-Greenhaven intersection – resulting in a rider almost hitting the tarmac – are completely untrue.

Back on the trail we had a nice paceline going, and this time we stuck on the trail instead of diverting to surface streets at Guy West bridge. We stopped for water at William B Pond park, and that is when everything changed for me. As soon as we were back on the trail after the water stop, I realized I wasn’t able to keep the pace. One word crossed my mind – bonk – as I realized that I’d just done 60-some miles at this point, and eaten way less than I needed. I backed off the pace for a moment and watch the bulk of the group pull away.

Things got worse for me, however, as I realized it was actually issues with my blood sugar levels (I’m diabetic) that were holding me back now – and I was out of food. Nothing to do but spin easy and get back to the car, all hopes of catching the group now lost.

But then I rolled up on almost the entire group, sitting on the side of the trail. “Huh..” I thought. Since I was in no shape to hold the groups pace, I simply road past. I later learned that a couple of folks had slid out on the corner. Since I was now, ironically, the one being caught, I was sitting at the front with Krysta when Clair, OZ and a few others flew off the front in a break away. I knew I didn’t have it in me to follow, so I once again watched the group ride away from me.

By this point we were all pretty much strung out, and it didn’t take long until I was all alone in the back again, just focusing on finishing.

Suddenly – I heard a loud “Yip! Yip!” from behind me – a rider letting me know I was about to get passed, and fast. It’s the OZ/Clair group! How in the hell did that happen? I still don’t know – I can only guess that perhaps they looped back around on the trails along Folsom Blvd – while we were on the trails river side, and came back around again. Good for you guys!

All in all – another awesome Peloton ride. Let’s get rid of the fog, though!

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