Last week my neighbor told me about a group ride in Snohomish on Saturday morning so I decided to check it out. On Friday I also got a call from my buddy Dan at work asking me if I had any riding plans for Saturday morning so I invited him to the group ride (that I had never been on). Last week Dan finished one of the toughest centuries in the state in 5 hours so I knew that he would want to ride with the fast group which was fine with me since I wanted to give the fast group a try also. On Saturday morning we both showed up at the start of the group ride and headed out with the fast group.
The 1st Commandment of Group Riding
As we headed out on the group ride I heard a honking noise 3 or 4 times. At first I didn't pay much attention to it but after a while I put two and two together and realized that the rider in front of me was clearing his nose unannounced. GROSS!!! I can't say I know everything about group riding but I do know the first commandment.
"Thou shalt not launch snot rockets on a group ride if thy colleagues are in the general vicinity"
Once I figured out what was going on I quickly passed the offender but every time we stopped or slowed down he would ride passed me so it became a game of pass the snot launcher. To be honest this really isn't my favorite game even though there was element of danger involved.
I also noticed as we rode along that the fast group was only maintaining a pace of ~15 MPH. I'm really not a speed demon but as we rode along both Dan and I were looking at each other like "This is the pace of the fast group"? To make matters worse after about 5 miles we stopped for a rest break and as we stood around staring at each other I started telling Dan of another route I knew in the area. Sensing that neither one of us wanted to continue at the current pace or dodge any more mucus missiles we agreed to abandon the group ride and explore the other route.
As we headed out on the alternative route we kept a really fast pace which actually felt good. As we started into the first of many rolling hills I noticed that Dan didn't slow much from his fast pace at all. At that point I knew I could be in trouble because there was just no way that I could maintain that speed up the hills too. I was able to catch Dan at the top of the hill but not without much leg and lung burning occurring first. Lucky for me, Dan didn't seem to have a problem with me drafting in order to catch my breath. Well, the momentary drafting turned into long term drafting as I found that this was going to be the only way to keep up with him. To be honest, it was a ton of fun to ride this route so fast. In fact, at one point we came upon a pace line of 4 riders and before we knew it we had blown passed them like they were standing still. After a while we were able to ride side by side as my legs recovered a little bit. Toward the end of the ride I took a pull or two but they didn't last for more than a minute at a time as I just didn't have much left in the tank at that point.
Dan putting the hammer down
Slow Ride Home
Toward the end of the ride Dan and I parted ways as we live in opposite directions. At this point I had 10 more miles to ride to get home and I felt like I had been thoroughly baked at 350 degrees until golden brown. So my game plan for the rest of the ride was to not have a full body muscle cramp and to keep my tires on the ground.
As I walked in the door of the house I was tired but still had a smile on my face because it was a great ride.
2501ft elevation gain
Snot rockets dodged countless