Saturday was an incredible day for riding. Temps in the low 70s sunny. A planned 70 miles jaunt up to Maysville and a last chance to leave it on the tarmac in my young WBL career as off the back fodder.
The ride was sponsored by Athenschirohealth.com which put up free massages to winners. This seems counter intuitive as the people off the back desperately huffing and puffing probably need the massages more, but to the victors go the spoils I guess.
So on a 70 mile ride I was confident I would be in the pack until the start of the sprint zone at about mile 55. And this was true. Notable happenings in the ride include a young guy named Parker riding without his jersey and his shorts hiked up so he could get more sun on his skinny bod. he also switched bib straps taking one and then the other down so he wouldn't get bib strap tan lines. Despite myself, the Jefe and other older folks roundly ridiculing this behavior, Parker endured, secure in the fact that we were irrelevant old buzzards and that chicks dig a dude without cycling tan lines.
At the store stop, several young guns discovered new method of hydration involving BudLight. It must have worked because every guy who drank a bud light came in way ahead of me.
And to the sprint zone. I actually found myself pulling the last 2-3 miles for the sprint zone with Tan Line Boy, but I felt great and the pace was perfect, so I didn't sweat it. Sometimes it actually feels better to pull, there's a sense of control regarding the pace and not having to worry about the wheel in front. TanLineBoy told me to give the first hill everything I had because the pace would let up a bit afterward. It was good advice. We turned onto the Seagraves Rd and the whistle blew. I ignored several attacks (which is not too difficult when you lack the ability to accelerate an addition 6 mph on a hill!) looking for the right wheel to hang on and fought my way up the hill. I was still with the main group so far. The break away began coalescing into a front group with mainly elite guys. A second group of slightly less elite guys was forming and I was fighting to stay with them. I hung for awhile but a 2 second gap opened. I was right there, but damn I just couldn't make the bike go any faster and I watched the second group begin to pull away.
Mike who owns the building where AthensChiropracticHealth will be moving to soon, is an older dude, who doesn't look like he would be a mega-hammer but he is. As I was fading, he pulled up to me and said, "hey they are only 5 seconds ahead, we can catch them." Now my rational mind thought, "what bullshit. I've never 'caught' a group after being dropped." But I thought, hell, maybe this guy know something. And the chase was on. We ranged from 2-4 people and Mike kept us in order. I worked my ass off. I haven't hurt so bad since last Wed trying not get ridden off of Clyde's TT wheel. We never caught the second group really, but we did catch the pack about a mile after the sprint line.
Success! I would cruise home with group and be there for picture. I ended the WBL season 22nd with 24 points, a mere 65 points away from taking it all. Maybe next year.