I asked a couple of people at the Wednesday night Stony Creek group ride if they were interested in doing an easy ride at River Bends for Thursday (yesterday). We couldn’t decide on a time, so we left it for Facebook discussion.
The reason why I wanted to do an easy ride is because I have a Bloomer ride scheduled with the Sharks for tonight. Bloomer is going to kick my ass. I know from experience that if I don’t do any riding the day before a harder ride, then that harder ride is going to be even more difficult because my legs will be stiff and cold. If I do an easy ride the night before, then my legs will be looser for that harder ride. Does that make sense? Perhaps I’ll figure out the answer to that question when I proofread this blog post.
Back to my story. After lunch, yesterday, I found myself crashing earlier than usual. I usually “crash” in the afternoon—my energy levels plummet and I want to take a nap, but only on work days. I logged onto Facebook with the intention of telling Jeremy and Steve that I was going to bail from the ride because I didn’t have any energy, my dog is getting pissed at me for not being home, and my introverted self needs a quality evening on the couch with said dog.
Steve foiled my plan for bailing just in the nick of time. When I logged on, there was a message from Steve asking a few people what time they wanted to meet for the River Bends ride. Everyone seemed to settle on 6:00. I composed a message explaining why I might not be able to make it, hit CTRL+A and then Del to erase it all, and replaced it with, “I could swing 6.” Shit. And so, I made 6. Jeremy tried to pick on me for being late, but I was quick to clarify that I was ready and walking out of the River Bends bathroom right at 6. I know that cuz my iPhone told me so.
I was ready to go when I learned that we were waiting for Nick and Marty to arrive. That was okay. One of the things I love about Nick and Marty is that they are often late, so they buy me a little more time to mentally prepare and to screw around with stuff I didn’t think I had time to screw around with…like the iPhone.
Enter Norbert. He popped off the trail and found us waiting for Nick and Marty. He asked us if this was a planned ride, and we quickly explained our lack of organization. This was really a product of last-minute facebooking.
n. Annoying social networking site that is incredibly useful and continually threatens to force people to use its timeline feature.
v. face·booked, face·book·ing, face·books
To post crap on or communicate via facebook.
Seven us went rolling through River Bends and then hit up the roads for a spin down to the Clinton River Park trails…and whatever else they may be called since you may actually ride through seven or so parks thanks to the indecisiveness of the ADD city of Sterling Heights. Once we actually got on the trails, the gang took off—including Marty, who totally rocked her singlespeed that she recently wiped the dust off of—and dropped my ass. I cut out a couple sections of trail to catch up with this fast bunch led by the fearless Nick “Speedy” Shue. I just couldn’t keep up. I also realized that I was pushing harder than I had intended for this “easy” ride. Face it, the guys are freakin’ fast, and an easy ride for them is race pace for me.
Since we were now closer to Norbert’s house, he dropped off and headed home leaving us as a perfect sixer. Marty showed some mercy and hung back with me on the return ride. It was actually a great ride, but definitely much more than I expected. In the long run, this is good, and I had some sobering thoughts when I pondered it last night.
First, I’d like to comment that I don’t think anyone really knows exactly how far anyone really went because no one’s GPS or bike computers are in agreement. It is fair that I use my numbers since that is what I consistently have access to, and the exact distance isn’t what really matters, but it’s how my performance changes according to that one instrument. In other words: it’s about relativity. According to my cracked-out computer, we did 16.75 miles in 1 hour 45 minutes. According to el computero, actual ride time was 1 hour, 37 minutes. Not too shabby.
I snuggled on the couch with my increasingly pissed off dog and ate dinner while watching the last half of American Idol before moving my now very stiff body to the shower. Yes, I was feeling that ride. It was in my brief, warm shower that I experienced the aforementioned sobering contemplations regarding my riding: gone are the days of “easy rides.” I’m either gonna ride or I’m not. Some days I will be loose, strong, and fast—at least, as fast as Di is capable of going given her “current” fitness level; or I will be stiff, worn out, weak, and slow, like I was on my birthday. People who are riding with me are just going to have to accept that. Fortunately, I don’t think they really care and it’s not an issue for them. Unfortunately, I have to get over the fact that I will sometimes be that slow person holding up the group, but I also need to realize that there is probably going to be someone else in that group like I am on the Wednesday night Stony rides: incredibly grateful that there is a slower person for whom we have to wait so that I can get a little more rest.
I’m a little stiff today, but I plan to hit up the Bloomer ride with the Sharks and friends. I will have fun tonight. I hope Marty can make it.