Headed out the door at 5:20 this morning for a group ride to Woodstock. Round trip (including into the city for coffee post-ride) should be about 90km. This was my first group ride, at speed and more than 35km, for probably 18 months.
The pace was reasonably steady heading out, a bit of surging from 30- 37km/hr but not too bad. Upon reaching Woodstock, a group immediately turned and headed for home while the remainder took a few minutes to refuel, rehydrate and I'm sure a few other re's.
The return leg is a bit of a free-for-all and given my absence from the pack scene and suspect endurance, I decided to turn and head back early- the only problem was I missed the first group which turned and could see them about 300 metres up the road as I swung around. So I had my own little individual sufferfest for about 20km of the return journey.
A group of about 7 or 8 caught up and overtook me after about 15km. Given that they were doing about 50km/hr when they went by, I didn't like my chances of hanging on so I just let the opportunity pass. Besides, I had been pushing a bigger gear than I probably should have for a bit too long and was feeling some discomfort around the hip. So I backed off a bit and spun for another 5 km until the next group caught up.
This time I was feeling considerably better and decided to have a crack at hanging on. I managed to hang with them all the way back into the city- even had a couple rolls through on the front and was holding pace at 44-46 km/hr. Must have been the muesli bar I ate on the way back in.
My much-deserved coffee was great and after an easy ride back home, I now feel ready for a nap......I may have to have a rest day tomorrow.
p.s. local rider Ruth Corset was last night named as Cycling Queensland's Cyclist of the Year for 2010.
p.p.s. Still no phone service (I know you're surprised)
Cheers- ride safe