We woke up Sunday to some nice fog and mist with a plan to meet Bike Rack guys at the Classic course for some hot laps. There was some soreness in my knee that I didn't want to admit to myself much less anyone else and wasn't too psyched for what I knew was coming. The pain wasn't at all acute and moderated to nearly nothing while out, but smashing myself full force wasn't happening. One thing in my favor was looking like a straight up pimp in my new RTR jersey.
The first climb is really a 4 part deal, the first 3 of which passed without any red flags. The heat came on the last section and I had to limit myself. The guy from Bike Rack who was wearing the hoodie can stone cold roll. I'd like to think it was because we all crippled ourselves the day before that he was able to take it out like that, but I'm really guessing that he's got some sort of V12 thing happening under the hood. Nice job, man.
Since I'd been able to make sly use of descents to catch onto things on a few occasions on Saturday (Cunego's ride at Lombardy last year being my inspiration) I thought I'd be able to again. Wrong. Descending to 259 in a group is way faster than solo. Newport caught up right before 259 and we joined Jay, with Bert joining us on 259 (nice bridge btw, it must have hurt) and we chased. At Crab Run I dropped Newport and Bert while Jay waited to make sure those behind were okay. Funny mistake #2 happened here when I waited for Bert and Newport. They were shot and couldn't really help before I had to roll on without them, and little did I know that the group ahead was dying pretty quickly. By the time the lap was over they were in plain sight. Big lesson there - if you drop off on this course but have the strength to keep rolling, keep rolling. I had a mean case of the "if only I hadn't waited" blues, especially since the descent from the church is one on which you can create or erase some serious gappage.
Some were motivated to do another lap and I figured I'd just do it but the cold seeped in while we waited for the rest so I just rode down the hill to suss out the finish line situation and say goodbye and thanks to Jay and then climb back up. I guess my last climb up was pretty fast because the group that I gave about a 10' head start to welcomed me with a warm "where the hell did you come from" when I got to the Barn. It didn't feel like I was going hard but I was lost in some serious thought while riding, and come to think of it, it really seemed like it ended pretty soon, so maybe I went fast.
As always, the Barn was a learning experience. You learn a lot about who the team players and who the one-way guys are and you learn a lot about yourself too. Some mixed emotions, but some really great stuff too. I'm confident that my plan of being "good enough" to achieve my early season goal and be really on top of things later is on track.
Tale of the tape: 3 days, 3 rides, 150 something miles (I always forget to turn the thing back on after stops and reggroups), 6700 kj of work over 9+ hours, lord only knows how many vertical feet (I'm guessing about 12 or 13,000), 2 flats, 9 gu packs, a few ice packs, 1 front wheel in need of serious attention, lots of bearings to be greased.