Thursday, March 15, 2007

Return of Bleed From Your Eyes

Perhaps a better name would be "Bleed From Your Nose", because that's how hard I rode.

CaptainChaz, SpikyHairWill, and I met up in the park and rode out toward the Watchung hills. We had a tentative plan to "do a little Team Time Trial", but that plan was easy to abandon in favor of a friendly jaunt through the hills. Perhaps to add some enmity to our innately competitive spirits, Will was wearing his old Cornell kit.

We took the infamous Alessandro Loop, shallow enough to be a popular early-season route but hilly enough to make the ride slightly more complicated than most.

Pleasantries were exchanged down River Rd and through Bound Brook, but the Chimney Rock climb marked the onset of our little skirmish. I was on the front, pulling Chaz and Will at increasing speeds in the hopes that this would prevent them from attacking. Will later informed me that my plan was working... until I exploded and watched Chaz beat Will to the peak. Don's Max Heart Rate: 195

My riding companions were kind enough to wait for me in a nearby parking lot as I struggled to catch my breath. We rode over to the next quasi-climb, a false-flat up Ferguson Road that we were happy to "neutralize" by riding at tempo.

After a quick descent, hostilities resumed on the climb up King George Rd. Chaz led the group until he could lead no more, at which point Will upped the pace to lung-busting levels. He was smart, too, dancing around rough-patches so late that I couldn't help but lose momentum riding through them. Needless to say, he beat me to the top. Don's MHR: 196

Chaz took us through a few more rollers, followed by a long descent to the Rt 22 crossing. He and Will fought each other the whole way down, descending at breakneck speeds... which was cool to watch from a distance at a more reasonable velocity.

Riding home on River Rd, we took advantage of our last opportunity to tear each others' legs off. Charlie put in a vicious counterattack after he and Will pulled back my rinky-dink effort, which was neutralized by a combination of Will, myself, and the red light at 287.

Once we'd passed the last of the traffic lights, our skills pretty much went out the window. Nobody was drafting, but we were all riding tempo-ish. Will looked back at me and said something, which I interpreted as "do you want to draft already or what?" It turns out he actually meant "let's attack Charlie now". Which we did. We went fast for a while. When Will's pace started drifting, I considered my options: pull through, or attack? So I attacked, "winning" the sprint to Johnson park. Don's MHR: 195

There were no pictures from this ride. There were barely any tactics. It was brutal, windy, and non-stop. The attacks were fast and furious, perhaps too fast and too furious. Can we recover by Saturday for the Grant's Tomb crits? Can the forecast of "wintry mix" even hope to hold us back? Stay tuned, same Blog time, same Blog channel, for race reports!


Charles said...

CaptainChaz says: Please start cooling down when at least 4 miles away from home. Performing a good high cadence cool down and stretching and eating when you get home will ensure that your legs are ready for tomorrow's workout or the weekend's race. Please, no ride reports or group posts that contain something regarding racing to Johnson Park. Passing over the 287 bridge on river road should mark the beginning your cool down.

My legs are feeling ready for a trainer opener tonight and a race on Saturday.

This was a great competitive ride, thanks for suggesting the change in plans Don. Find a group of reasonably well matched cyclists and challenge yourselves on a similar ride.

Don said...

chaz, you make a good point, and perhaps the late attacks were less than prudent. however, isn't it about 3-4 miles from the old town end of johnson to your house?

also, i'll give credit where it's due... ol' spikyhair made the suggestion