(Click on the image to view interactive map of the Friday Noon Ride route)
Did the Friday Noon Ride in Palo Alto today. It was fast.
Everyday at noon, a group of 20 to 30 riders meet at the corner of Page Mill and Foothill. It’s the regular, motley crew that shapes up any Group Ride except this is in the middle of the work day so it’s usually folks that have the flexibility to take a long lunch break. Friday is my day-off so I typically jump in. The loop takes just over an hour, plus the ride to and from the roll-out. So let’s call it 90 minutes.
Each day’s route is a bit different with Tuesday and Thursday being quite fast and Wednesday includes some climbing. Friday is usually pretty tame, especially during the season when the stronger riders are just looking to spin before a weekend of racing. But every once in a while, someone gets a kick in their step. Maybe you know the feeling. You’re expecting a tempo ride and all of sudden the group is strung out and you find yourself sprinting to close gaps. Match #1, burned. Match #2, burned. How many matches do I have?
I could almost hear people thinking. “Should I go with this? Do I even want to? If enough riders sit up and don’t go with the attacks, maybe everyone’ll settle down.” I overheard one guy say, “My program calls for a Zone 3 tempo workout so see ya later.” Dedication or excuse? Couldn’t tell.
It turned out to be a blast. Off-season rides can be slower and I thought for a minute that this is too hard to be working in December. But getting some intensity this time of year is rare so I’m of the mindset that I’ll take what the group gives me. After all, my time in the saddle is more limited than it used to be when I was younger so if it hurts then it’s probably good for me. If the group wants to go hard then game on. If I pop and drop then so be it.
When a friend rolled passed me in the paceline and said, “Dude, this hurts,” I actually thought of a previous post from earlier this week. Check out that quote and see if you can relate. It kept me going when I wanted to quit.
What keeps you going when all you want to do is sit up?