Riding longer, riding lighter

What a day yesterday. I rode my usual ride to work (17.5 miles) but joined some folks from our company team at 5PM for what was said to be a ride of “about 20 miles.” I was a tad concerned at being out classed by my fellow riders and those concerns were justified.

I knew I was out-classed and had no idea that the supposedly 20 mile jaunt was in fact much longer: a trek from Sunnyvale to the Los Altos Hills as far up as Hwy 280 and then back down along Foothill Expressway, then back to Sunnyvale via Mountain View’s Castro St. district.

On the flats, I’m only slightly behind most other riders, at least the majority of the time. But on the hills I lag big time; somewhat because I don’t have years of leg development and somewhat because I’m still carrying at least 30 pounds of “extra weight” that the super-fit-folks don’t have carry. I also don’t stand up to blast up the hills at full leg-burning power, but rather I just drop a few gears, maintain pedaling cadence and whatever speed I go is the speed I go. The team was exceptionally gracious allowing me and another slower rider to lag.

Scary moment of the ride: A lady in a minivan made a right turn in front of me. “WATCH OUT!!!!” I yelled. I so did no want to get hit. Pissed off and afraid, I stuck my foot out to either push off her fender or simply kick it — which, I didn’t care — but in either case it would prevent my left leg from been sheared across her fender. Let’s just say my foot impacted her fender pretty good, letting out a loud clunk that everyone in the baseball park (into which she was turning) heard.

By the time I got back to work it was 30 miles total and was already 7PM. Even though I was tired from trying to keep up with everyone, I decided to re-fill my water bottles, grab my backpack and ride home (another 17.5 miles), hoping to make it home in the hour of light I had left for the day. My need for accomplishment and hatred of all things wimpy precluded the tempting option of taking the light rail home.

Commute + team ride = 65 miles for the day. Not bad. Welcome to my new Wednesdays!

I weighed in at 215 lbs. this morning, the best I’ve been in at least 5 years. While I won’t make the 200 mark by the Tour de Cure ride in two weeks, I can likely come in under 210 by then.

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