So often what happens is a woman rides with some guys, and she's fast. She can hang. So the guys inevitably give the great advice to the lady that she's strong enough to just ride off the front of a ladies race. HAH!! I myself figured that this was sage advice at one point, and gave it. It was not good advice then and it is not now. There are PLENTY of fast ladies out there.
Saturday we did Mass/Sky with some people who are going to Killington with us, 4 people total. One is a very fast lady. We left the gate maybe a bit hotter than planned, and 90 minutes later we were 34 miles in, at the base of the Mass climb. I punched it, hard. This ride had my 'race type efforts' for the weekend. So yeah I was going fast. And I'm getting followed, like on my wheel. Finally, after the u-turn I hear 'i'm dropping back here,' to which I respond with a wave. Because I couldn't talk. A small gap to the first long hair, and a slightly longer gap back to the other. To make me feel better, long hair one tells me she was imagining me as a lady pro at Killington and she was just clinging to my wheel. It must be my demure backside that made me so convincing in this role, but pro woman by proxy is a role I relish for sure.
Then we stop for lunch in Luray and pick up a fifth. A good rider, Cat 2. He's got an accent.
Despite severe gastric distress from too much turkey sandwich on the run-in, I hold to the plan to take Thornton Gap hard, so I take to the front and set a good tempo. I'm no Joe D (that clanging you just heard was me winning the prize for understatement of the year) so Thonton is still more than a 20' effort, but not by much. I think it was like 20:35 to the overpass. It was like nearly 4.4 watts/kg not astonishing but for that point in the ride not bad. And it might have been 20:50 for Speedy McXchromasome. And not much more for the other mujere.
Elk Wallow, time to go again. This is like a 15:00 climb? Thinking the KoM spot is closer than it is, I dump the tank and get a nice gap, only to learn I've gone too early. Barely keep my shit together to finish just behind the interloper, and once again just in front of Speedy. We've literally been throwing flaming bags of dog shit at each other on this climb, so we figure it will be a while until the other hey who's that holy shit she's here already.
At that last climb, I'd been leading the downhill for a long time, pushing big watts, hearing the buzz of 4 freewheels behind me. And I figure I'm just going to mail the last climb in. Except the interloper says yeah me too and then blasts off. Speedy sort of goes on instinct and then sits up. I figure f it and go, telling Speedy to get on my wheel which she does. It's one of those false flats like the one on Esworthy on the 10am where if you kill it you go fast and if you less than kill it you creep. So we are flying up to the interloper and get there, and I motion for Speedy to get off my wheel and onto his. I'm questionable at best at this point so eat drink and be merry because tomorrow we die (which was sort of a global risk yesterday right?) I take off. And we get to the overlook where the KoM should only it's not that one it's the next one. KAPOW I turn into confetti and those two blow by. Two seconds of licking my wounds and here comes the other chick. Aww Jesus WTF????
So the two of us haul ass down the descent from Dickey Ridge and she's clearly going to try and punk me at the line. Calling upon the spirit of my mentor, I unleash a thundering 'NOT TODAY!!!!' and 82 miles into a hard as shit ride I somehow manage to pull an 1100 watt sprint out of my ass and just barely beat her.
So the next time you're riding with some lady and she seems fast and game, do her a favor and shut up about how she should just ride off the front, mkay??