Sunday, December 21, 2008

These are the Days of the Peloton

yet another episode...

Yesterday I piled on the usual winter layers for the 45 minute ride to Midtown Sac for the River Ride. I felt pretty good after a good night's rest and being loaded up on way too much junk food on the last day of school before winter break. I felt that little squeeze of anxiety when a lot of the big guns showed up -- Jesse Moore, Mike Sayers, Chad Gerlach, etc. and I realized a little north wind was blowing. "This could hurt", I thought. My buddy McCaw asked, smiling, on the roll out "Are you going to hang on?" I pantomimed holding onto my handlebars as hard as I could. I used all of my wheel-sucking powers and remembered what Sarah Bamberger said about suffering "is all in your head"

I made it through the first sprint. I saw someone make a U-turn without looking, putting a Team City guy into the farm ditch. I stayed with the group for the inner loop until the last left turn on the levee. Damn, that thing always gets me when my legs are hurting at the end of the ride. I came off the levee and dangled precariously off the back, letting a gap build. I spun, remembering not to jam it into a harder gear. I felt a hand on my back pushing me, then pulling my wind vest, and the voice of Dino saying "Dig Deeper". I shouted a few choice words including "help!" I was mad at all the yayhoos behind me not helping fill the gap. It never occurred to me that I could be their only hope. Luckily, the group slowed before the final sprint and Dino came around at the last minute to pull us back into the fold. Victory!! Dino was cheering while I tried to uncross my eyes.

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