Just when you think you're getting somewhere, reality comes and smacks you in the face with a cold, hard, fishy smelling dose of what's really going on. Last night, I'm finishing off interval #2 of a 2x20 workout (which at this time of year includes a lot of other stuff but the meat is still 2x20) and I see a fellow cyclist turn around on MacArthur so as to follow me. I know this particular fellow cyclist well, so as I am churning along with the sun low behind me, I fully expect to see the shadow of his helmet appear to my left at any time. Each time I go through a shady patch, I think I'll see helmet shadow pop up like the bad guy in a horror flick as soon as I'm back in the sun. And then it happened. And then he flew by, looking quite nonchalant. I'd turned my Powertap display upside down (facing under the stem) to make myself do the intervals on feel, which I can now do rather precisely. When I looked at the file later, there was a slight ramp in the effort as he'd passed and I marked the gap. The interval turned out to be about 6 watts over plan. RPE was low. Chasing breeds concentration in me. Concentration breeds a better effort from me.
Tonight, I got a similar smack in the head. I happened onto the Goon ride, totally outside the plan. It just flowed out of a rolling meeting with the CEO where we were discussing our multi-billion $$ carbon component YouSourcing(tm) venture, and we wound up right place/right time and decided what the hell. Down the top of Beach I did plenty of pulls and had a jolly old time. Then another fellow cyclist showed up on a TT bike and took a long line of reasonably accomplished fellow cyclists out to the wood shed for about 15 or 20 minutes at around 29 mph. At one point I thought "wow, this is kind of hard" and loomed down to see 494 watts on my friendly neighborhood scorecard. Clearly a spike, but sheesh. I was like 7 guys back at the time.
Route 1 Jesse did a huge good thing to block anyone from killing himself on the non-existent ramp over the curb, then pounded it up the early part of the hill. Bravo. For the rest of my part of the ride I was constantly the last guy who makes it onto the varsity. Always JUST managed to hang with the front front, except one time when les freres Lumm and I had to close a botch and a half of a two second gap. Back onto Beach, aforementioned fellow cyclist on TT bike rejoins ride, takes smaller, selected, group of reasonably accomplished fellow cyclists out to the wood shed again. Bailed at E-W after nearly getting killed by a minivan making terrible decisions, feeling crisp (as in fried like an egg roll, not fresh like a well starched shirt) from three on days in a row following Sunday's race. Tonight was really supposed to be mellow. Bad behavior on my part. Oh well, no racing this weekend, not even Bull Run. Have to work Saturday. Blows, but the wife will deliver my third beating of the week at Fountainhead after I finish work so that's just ducky. Who knows what's up next week, but I'll probably keep it a little light before a two race weekend. I'm old. Master's at Walkersville is going to be harder than it was at Jeff Cup. Registered field size is about the same, it just smells like it's going to be tougher. Hopefully no flying couches this year. Then Tyson's, a race I don't even love to hate, but we have to go pants shopping.
The new kits have apparently landed. As much as I enjoy the AccaDacca, I'm ready for some real kit. The looks I get, they are a wee bit strange. You never know who's in on the joke and who's like "who's the freaking Barney in the AC/DC kit?" Those people, not without reason, probably assume you are going to do them harm, and not in the competitive sense but rather the injury sense.
I promise some vitriol over the latest proposed housing bailouts, as well as prophecies of doom now that the Feds are supposed to quit buying MBSs and free money to buy houses ends. I'm as grim as ever, really, perhaps more so. Yes, more so, because people keep clinging to this thought that the sun is coming back out. It's not. We're still fucked, completely so. If you want an incredible read, get The Big Short by Michael Lewis. Simply stunning. Then search back to the archives of this very site from like late '07 - I wasn't lying back then.