Thursday, March 27, 2008

Back in the Saddle

I’m back in the saddle!

Although I started ramping up my cycling a little last week, today I decided to leave work around 4 and hit up the Silver Comet Trail. I realize I left somewhat early, but it’s not too early if you consider that usually get to the office around 6:45. I digress.

Although the SCT isn’t the same as riding actual roads, it’s a fantastic trail. For one, it’s paved with asphalt, so you’re not hitting a cement seam every 5 feet. It’s also not clogged with pedestrians; very few people use the SCT for leisure walks. When I ride the Alpharetta Greenway, in comparison, I usually have 1 or 2 near accidents with people not paying attention to their surroundings. Note to Alpharetta Greenway users – I’m not trying to be a dick here, but stay to the right! I have zero desire to slam into you at 18 mph just because you’re a dumbass. I digress again.

My goal today was a solid 20 miles – Nothing too heavy, but I haven’t done a 20-mile ride since October. I suited up, prepped my bike but decided to leave my iPod behind; I wanted to focus on the ride, not the music. Plus, I had just listened to Ultra.10 and had the song Raindrops playing in my head. This should not be confused with Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head… Two very different songs.

About 4 miles into the ride I noticed someone coming up behind me, probably to pass. Instead, he decided to draft. I figured my weak 16 mph pace would prove too easy for him and he’d leave me soon enough. Nope. Rather, he stuck with me for several miles until we hit the first light. We exchanged hellos, and he thanked me for letting him draft. Absolutely, I said. The light turned green and he continued to stick with me. I had found myself a drafting buddy… I’ve never had a drafting buddy! He drafted with me the rest of my 10 miles out, then we swapped and I drafted off him for the 10 miles back.

It was a great workout… I pushed us pretty hard (for me, anyway) on the way out, keeping up 17-19 mph on the uphill grade with a pretty solid cadence, and I really felt it. My lungs burned, my legs ached, it was wonderful.

At the end of the ride, Kevin and I introduced ourselves and exchanged business cards. Apparently he works in the building across from mine and gets out to the SCT several days a week. A workout is always best with a buddy, so hopefully we’ll get a chance to meet up again in the future.

I also decided to block my Outlook calendar from 4-6 twice a week so I can get out and go riding.

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