Tour to Tanglewood

The Greensboro Velo Club team (and an interloper) line up before the start.

I’m the interloper — the guy in the Wachovia jersey. Most years I ride with the GVC but this year I was convinced to ride for another team. However, I actually rode most of the miles with these folks and a few others. So here I am standing around with the Basque Mafia (that growing group of GVC cyclists who ride Orbea bikes, which are made in a Basque cooperative).

We couldn’t have asked for better conditions for the ride. The weekend stayed relatively cool and wind free, and contributed much to our happiness. Bring on Fall; I’ve had enough of the 95-degree days.
Saturday was our long day. We rode 105 miles at an average of 18.4 mph. I think that’s probably the fastest century I’ve done so far. We maintained an average of just under 20 until around the 40 mile mark; I briefly had visions of a five hour century. That wasn’t to be, though. The hills toward the end had me working hard enough; trying for five hours would have blown me up.

All in all, it was a good day. I didn’t really have my diet dialed in, and toward the end I paid for some indiscretions (in particular, a can of Vault) with a sour stomach. But I rode through that, right into what the Euro guys call the “hunger knock,” and then I was at the finish. Where lunch was waiting. Just in time.

Today we made the return trip, which began with an angry shuttle bus driver, a round of lies about taking it easy, and a bad cup of coffee. My early pace was comfortable; just fast enough to stay with the group and keep my legs warm. But down the road I started to perk up, and when we hit a series of climbs in the last five miles, I pushed myself harder. Maybe too hard, after a 26 mph sprint up a long climb. Total mileage for the day: 43.1.

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