Since I've decided to take a late season plunge and participate in the Bob Beal Stage Race, I'm putting some heavy mileage in this week.
Starting on sunday, I went on a 4 hour tour of the bucolic vistas of southeastern new hampshire.
The group ride was actually closer to 3:30, but I rode to and from the event for another 6 or so miles. I wasn't quite sure what to expect for the ride, so I figured it wouldn't hurt to pre-eat and drink heartily, which turned out to be a wise decision. The ride was somewhat tame for the first 50-ish miles. I was content for that part just to stay with the lead group, even thought the plan was for the group to stay together. We ended up coming through Exeter and linking up on the return leg of the Tuesday night BOB ride, aka The Tuesday Night Fights. One of the more prolific members of BOB started to laydown these 27 MPH pulls on the flats, to which there were no complaints. The group quickly broke in half, with about 7 of us turning it into a more spirited training ride, while the other ten or so took the 'Sunday Ride' moniker to heart. I complimented Big Johns 27 mph pulls with 26 mph pulls of my own, making sure that no more than two riders went away from the group at a time. Coming into what is usually the big finish on tuesdays, our own Solobreak made a hard effort that easily gaped the group, but as soon as I saw Big John making the bridge I hopped on his wheel. I assumed that Solo didn't know here the sprint line was, but I also assumed that Big John did. as we hit the finishing stretch, I went for the sprint expecting several people to come around me - no one did. It turns out that no one went after the three of us, so I was sprinting against two guys that didn't know where the finish was - sorry, but claiming a win when you're the only one playing doesn't count regardless of what the bush administration tells us. For the day, I got 75 miles in just under 4 hours, not bad considering the social nature of the first 2/3rds of the ride.
Yesterday, I went to the Tuesday Night Fights. This ride is essentially from plaistow to exeter and back. I typically take the first half easy, then start working on the way back. Last night we had a smaller turnout, so I did way more work in the first half than I'm used to including a solo effort over a hill with a townline sprint at the top and well past it. I didn't get caught until the bottom of the next downhill. On the way back BOBs own Indomitable Dr. "downtown" Shea kept pushing the pace as usual. Since the group was smaller, I didn't have the recovery between pulls I usually do, and the relentless chasing of The Good Doctor started to wear on me. At one point, I said "I'm done" and went to the back of the group. Dr. Shea and Duano put a small gap on the group, but others took up the chase. On the last stiff climb on the ride, I took my own pace, not intense, not even riding at AT. I assumed I had the group on my wheel since I took the climb much easier than usual and had two riders next to me at the top. At the bottom of the subsequent downhill, it leads into a longish rise. I set a comfortable pace, again thinking I had the group with me. At the top of the rise I pulled off and the only person with me was the Incubus, Aka The Bad Doctor Blondin. He took the pull through the downhill, and I simply maintained the pace up over the next rise. There was no one in sight but him at the top. I really didn't want to ride with him (no one does) and I knew he hasn't been training or racing this year, so on the next rise I pushed the pace again. I dropped him like a hot rock. Not that it's anything to brag about, but it felt good. The group caught me on the next series of downhills, and at the end I did my usual Tuesday night effort at the end of pulling hard through the last couple corners and letting the guys behind sprint. Last Night stats - including the ride from work to the ride, then home - 58 miles in just under 3 hours.
Tonight, I'm planning a recovery ride of ~ 30 miles
Thursday, some hill intervals, again ~ 30 miles.
Friday, a simple commute.
With any luck I'll have hit 250 miles by the time I get home friday.
Since I have to bee a fucking landlord at my money pit in manch-vegas for the better part of this weekend, I'm not sure I'll get too much riding in, but next week will be an easy low-mileage week to rest up for Bob Beal.