Sunday, February 22, 2009

HRTC Group Bike ride

This morning I got up nice and late (relatively) and drove out to the west side of town for a 20 mile bike ride with HRTC. I had been debating about not going, but the BF convenced me to go. My reasoning was that I was driving 100 minutes total for what might just be a 80 minute bike ride. But I did go and I have to say I have mixed feelings about having gone.

1) I am not planning a long distance competitive bike ride any time soon. The most would be a sprint tri. So really, sustaining any pace for a long time doesn't really do a whole lot for me now.

2) Commraderie amung bikers is NOT what I was expecting. At the beginning of the ride, I knew I would be sticking with the back of the pack. I rode pretty consistantly with another woman at the back. I was thinking for a while that she was making sure I didn't get too far left behind or something. Every once and a while we would pass a couple of bikers on the side of the road who were attempting to repairs bikes or the like, but other then that, everyone was pretty far ahead of us. At one piont another guy passed us from behind, but wasn't traveling too fast. This girl and I rolled up to a stop light, and the guy was waiting. After some discussion we realized that we weren't exactly sure which way to turn, and that we all were first or second time group riders. (the guy had done his first group ride last weekend). So basically three unexperienced and slower bikers were left behind. This was def not what I was used to. While running with HoustonFit, there was always someone my pace or slower. But I know that on my long runs with them, I always had someone running with me (usually a coach) In fact, on my first run, Coach Debbie and I talked so much we missed a turn! And then in trail running, I am mostly running solo, but plenty of people are thinking about me and always doubling back to make sure I am still back there with the group.

3) It was really good to get out on a stretch of road with my bike. I got a much better feel for the kind of pace I could put in, and especially I got a feel for using my gears.

4) Great workout. My pace was much slower then I thought it would be, but I did the whole thing and felt good, even though it took me 2 hours and 15 minutes.

5) I got a good feel for the things I need to change before my next long ride. My butt was very tired of the bike seat even by the halfway point.

6) Speaking of the halfway point, something I wasn't quite clear on when we started was that the 10 mile mark wasn't at the gas station everyone stopped at and where the 44 miler people turned. The 10 mile mark was pretty close to that stoplight the 3 newbies got confused at. But I did remember that the leader had mentioned a four way stop and then in a bit a gas station. So my odometer read around 24 miles on my bike, which gmap confirms.

7) Uphill both ways????? It sure felt like it, although the out was definately worse then the back. I think it's due to the wind, although I swear the wind was blowing in both directions.

So overall, I'm not sure why I should bike with HRTC when I can just go over to the Rice bike loop and practice my sprints.

1 comment:

Cass said...

Amy, I saw your post on the HRTC board. I wouldn't give up on the group rides just yet. There are slower people (believe me, I'm one of them). Either way, the group rides are a good way to meet people and form smaller training groups for when there aren't group rides.
Also, whenever the Zephyrs start up again, be sure to go to those. I started riding last year with them. They are much easier to keep up with than the 'regular' HRTC group.