It was another Tuesday, and that meant another chance to go on a group ride. Of course, I had a few things to get done before the ride, but I felt pretty prepared for the ride itself. I had been eating a bit better since last week, and with the exception of tight back muscles, things were looking up.
I had prepared my fluids and they were half frozen, waiting for a cold water top up. Looking back, I think I froze too much because even now after the ride is over, there are still chunks in the bottom of my water bottles. I thought it would be warmer. I guess I was wrong.
I had washed all my cycling gear and everything was in my Cat5 cycling case. This is a wonderful tool for organization. Normally I don’t need it because I am often leaving from home. However, as I explained last week, the Tuesday group meets a bit far from home and while I could cycle there, I suspect that the ride home after the ride would probably kill me. On the bright side, I didn’t mind the drive home today. The sky looked beautiful and I was just the right amount of body tired. My mind was still good, but I could feel my body starting to wind down.
However, this week, the Cat5 would be my downfall. I threw it in the car and headed to the meeting point. After a few minutes of driving, I started to worry that I had forgotten my shoes. I quickly patted the bag and was relieved that my shoes were in there. I chided myself for being such a worrier and continued my drive.
When I got to the meeting place, I started to put on the parts of the kit that I couldn’t wear while driving–the shoes would make it difficult to operate the pedals, the gloves would look pretentious, and the helmet would look ridiculous. That’s when it happened. Another Oops Moment! I had forgotten my helmet. Aargh!
I said hello and goodbye to the people assembled for the ride. Riding without a helmet is against the group’s policies and would disqualify both myself and them for the insurance coverage. I explained what happened and started back to my car. They suggested that I ask the bike shop (which organized the club and was the meeting point) if they had a “loaner”. I figured it was a long shot, but I had driven all that way. Fortunately for me, they were able to help me. They loaned me a helmet. That’s why I have a different “bucket” on my head than usual. I haven’t bought a new helmet…yet.
The ride was pretty good. The people rode a bit more predictably than last time. I guess we are all getting better. My only problem was that my turn to pull (lead the group) often came on uphill spurts. The worst one was near the end. I couldn’t keep the speed, but when I let everyone pass, I lost all my momentum. This is my fault because I should have kept the pace. I just didn’t like hanging on the outside like that, and slowed up because I wanted everyone past me. I guess the solution is to do some hill repeats and improve my climbing quickly.
We were out for a couple of hours and managed to do 45kms. We had a few stops to fuel up, take a picture or two, and review road safety. Sadly, I didn’t ensure my Strava was recording. I thought I had pressed the record button….I guess this ride will exist only in my memory.