Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Burying The Needle

I had great legs tonight and felt some competitive fire starting to reignite for the first time in almost three weeks. After work I headed up the Eisenbahn on my Giant FCR3, just looking for some miles. But another rider inspired me to push a little harder than I might have otherwise. I didn’t recognize man or machine, but once on the other side of Washington Street this guy got his new mountain bike up to 18-21 mph and cruised toward Kewaskum with apparent ease.

I’m not used to following anybody on the Eisenbahn, but I settled in and pursued at a respectful distance. I wasn’t drafting and I wasn’t pushing hard, but it would have been uncool to pass just for the sake of passing when the other rider was already going faster than I likely would have alone. But something had to give sooner or later, and the other guy veered onto Sandy Ridge Road while I continued on the trail.

I would have taken Sandy Ridge if he hadn’t. Whether traveling northbound or southbound, I often detour onto Sandy Ridge to enjoy some asphalt and a little elevation change. The road meets the Eisenbahn at two points. The distance between those two points is 2.80 miles on Sandy Ridge, 2.67 miles on the Eisenbahn. I figured I would see the other rider again just south of Kewaskum, and I was determined to get there first.

I time trialed those 2.67 miles, slowing only for the intersection at County Highway H. Despite a brisk crosswind, I felt strong. I held a steady 21-22 mph and guessed that even if the other rider were faster I would still see him rejoin the trail. At the north end of Sandy Ridge there was no sign of him. I turned onto the road and got back up to speed, heading south now. Still no sign of him! By the time County Highway H came back into view I was sure he must have turned off, either at H or at one of the residences on Sandy Ridge itself. Oh, well. Thanks, whoever you were.

Cranking it up—even if only for 2.67 miles—really felt good. I’ll be on the road bike tomorrow and my only objective will be to ride without discomfort. Honestly.

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