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Monday, August 16, 2010

Recovery @ Warp 9

The Trek Recovery Ride is normally a slowpoke affair. There are fast riders who show up for it, but the whole idea is that it's a no-drop, very social ride and theoretically we're supposed to be recovering from the weekend's longer, faster rides.

I rode on Saturday and Sunday but those two rides combined for only 35 miles, and I'm happy to say I'm in good enough condition that this is insufficient to make me sore. That certainly wasn't the case this time last year.

So I had fresh legs, and there were some pretty serious riders who showed up. The slowest member of the group would have to be a tie between me and Scabface. Scabface is my nickname for Curtis' daughter, who is fourteen and only along for the ride because her Dad and Dad's girlfriend are riding it.

Thing is, Scabface is faster than me when she wants to be. Several times I've been huffing and puffing up a hill and she blithely pedals past me, and I can tell it's not even costing her to humiliate the old man in the Aloha shirt.

But Scabface's youth is also her biggest liability. She doesn't really want to work hard or sweat, which is where my nickname came from: she wants to be Scarface, be sleek and fast and effortlessly lead the pack, but she doesn't want to be Scabface first. When I fall behind, it's mainly ability; when she falls back it's generally just because she doesn't care when she gets back.

But some way tonight I must have said just the right insensitive thing to her and she turned it up a notch. Coming up 55th, I was absolutely maxed out and just barely keeping up with Scabface.

She asked me a couple times if I was having fun yet, and I allowed that I was. And I was. I felt like a million bucks, the cooler temperatures enabling me to stand on it and sprint to make up lost time.

Looking at my cycling log, the average speed for the past few Trek Recover rides: 11.9 mph on 8/9; 11.8 mph on 8/2; 12.0 mph on 7/26; 12.6 mph on 7/19; 11.4 mph on 7/12... You get the idea, it's an 11-12 mile an hour affair as a rule though back on 4/12 it dipped to 10.1 mph.

This evening's ride? 13.8 mph average. That's a personal best for me on this route (or anything like it—I've topped that on my Gardner routes where there are wide expanses of country road with no stops and few hills or at the airport, but in Shawnee and Merriam, I rarely break the 13 mark, all those stops and all that traffic).

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