I work for a big company here in the DC Metro area with several offices all over the place. We have a bike club within the company that’ll do events and it’s nice because the company will go-in on a lot of your fund-raising requirements. I believe they’ll do up to 6 events a year too. With the season starting up the listserv has been busy, busy.
Some of us in my office got together today. There ended up being 4 of us, one of which is my own personal biking buddy, Steve. I met Steve last year first at the kick-off happy hour to the bike club. He was newer to the company and all. Later, Steve and I met up again at the Arlington/Alexandria Community bike ride. Steve is great because he always hangs back with me and never makes me feel bad for it. I think Steve doesn’t mind hanging back with me because he likes to be social and he told me that he doesn’t like being dropped so he doesn’t like to drop people. He’s been such a great source of encouragement and has done RAGBRAI every year for the past 5 years but told me today he isn’t doing it this year.
Today’s ride pretty much had the other two dropping us fairly quickly on. Before this though I couldn’t get my foot down and down I went on my left side. Of course, it hurt at the time but once I got going I totally forgot about it until I got in the car as I was driving home and could feel the pain. Definitely had a bruise and some road rash on my knee and I was wearing tights! Then I started feeling the pain in my hamstring. I felt around and sure enough found a hole. Turns out I have a lovely 3-inch gash back there.
Steve and I did 21 miles today at a pace of 13.2 mph which has been my highest to date that I have record of. Towards the end he knew I was really hurting and I looked down at the bike computer and realized that we were now going under 10 mph. The other two were not too far ahead of us but probably ended up doing at least 5 miles more than us. Steve promised that next week he’d bring his fixie so that he could ride with me and really get a good workout.
If you had a tough workout like I just did make sure you eat something after your ride. I had some SERIOUS nausea until I forced myself to have some string cheese and peanuts. Then my tummy started moving again and all was good.
I wish that all people just starting out could have a Steve like I do: always positive, great company, and more experienced than me. I know some of you out there are intimidated by group rides but you know they say that you get better when you ride with people faster and more experienced than you. More than that though, if you never get out there you may never find your Steve.