We left in the pouring rain at 4AM from Hattiesburg. We were off to visit our friend whom had moved to Georgia. The forecast called for rain the entire weekend and during the entire 62 mile ride.
The rain let up a few hours into the drive and by the time we had made it to Watkinsville the sun was out and the weather was perfect. We ate a quick lunch and went for a quick 20 mile tune up ride. After the ride we made our way to the Terrapin Brewery!
This was a hilly area. Of course, everything is hilly when you live in Mississippi.
Although this was just a ‘ride’ it took off at 27 MPH – and that is not an exaggeration. Our goal for the ride was to try and hang onto the front group as long as possible. I am the weakest of our little group but I am pretty good at dodging the wind (I <3 drafting!).
But I was out of position, in the front middle section of the riders (not the racers). The group accelerated and took off quick. I was red lined from the first 10 seconds of the ride just trying to bridge the gap. It took me a couple of minutes but I was successful!
Right after I was on the back of the front pack they made a hard right turn. The pace line was like a slinky I was off the back again. It took almost everything but I battled back to the tail end of the front pack.
But too many matches had been burned too quickly. I was blown up, failing back and loosing ground rapidly. This was at mile 6. Bear in mind, that this was a 62 mile ride.
I ascertained that I was in ‘no man’s land’ and there would be few riders around me of a while. I rode solo for a couple of miles – still working hard but not red lined at 27 MPH.
A couple more guys popped off the front group and drifted back. I was able to regroup with 4 others. Later another joined our second tier group.
Since we would be with each other for a while we introduced ourselves to each other. I was from MS, Bill was traveling from FL to New England, Chris, Johan (from Germany) and Jason were locals.
We took turns at the front and made good time. While the front group made zero stops on the ride we decided to take on water at mile 30ish – I also need to pee like a race horse.
This was a hilly, windy ride and as the miles at intensity racked up I could feel the fatigue. I was not alone.
On a particularly long hill as Bill and I crowned the apex we looked back. Jason and Johan were near but Chris was not to be see.
Bill asked aloud, “Where is Chris, the guy in yellow?”
Johan replied in the best Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonation that I have ever heard, “He has capitulated!” I laughed out loud. That is the best term for dropping off of a bike ride!
ca•pit•u•late (kəˈpɪtʃ əˌleɪt)
v.i. -lat•ed, -lat•ing.
1. to surrender unconditionally or on stipulated terms.
2. to give up resistance; yield: to capitulate to someone's pleas.
Lance and Keith stayed with the lead group until mile 15, Sam until 40 and Raland the entire ride!