Back in the Game

May 19, 2010

After a long respite in Columbus, and a support day marking route from Columbus to Athens, OH, its back to biking.  I have to admit I was nervous this morning.  It’s been several days since I rode last, and we entered into West Virginia today, which has been talked up for its major hill climbs.

On the other hand, the legs are well rested, the back spasms have subsided after finally being able to rest (and sleep on Bryce’s couch for so many nights) for the first time since straining it back in Nashville throwing wet sheetrock out a basement window.  So now I’m back in the game!

And today was definitely one of my strongest days yet.  About half the riders opted to go out for breakfast this morning, while the rest of us decided to just start riding.  Pete, Justin and Chris busted out to an early lead, but I held a strong fourth as we started the day climbing a big hill.  The rest of the team was stretched out behind, which is exactly what a hill will tend to do.

The terrain was beautiful and climbing hills was really fun, but soon after turning onto River Road, things changed.  The road degraded to a gravel covered dirt road.  I actually have no problem riding on dirt roads, but gravel is more sketchy, especially when climbing and descending hills.  Due to the adverse road conditions, Pete, Justin, Chris and I actually caught up with the lead van and the lunch van at various points, grinding our day to a temporary halt.

We were eventually rerouted to a four-lane highway until we could get to WV-31, which took us back into the hilly, lush countryside of rural West Virginia.  It was fun to tackle this day with fresh legs that could easily climb the grades, fun to hang with the guys that are always out front, and fun to feel confident in my riding again.

There is an oft-quoted statistic that riding in a pace-line is 40% more efficient than bicycling alone.  I turn the statistic around a say that by riding alone, I am working 40% harder than my team members who can be pulled along in a pace-line.  I’m proud of that 40%, even though I fully acknowledge that it has taken its toll over the past seven weeks.

Athens to Harrisville by embricate at Garmin Connect – Details.


One Response to “Back in the Game”

  1. Kevin said

    Keep on trucking, Andy! West Virginia isn’t that big:)


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