OK, here's a snapshot of what you competition to the southeast are doing. Keep in mind, this is from my perspective and some hear say (due to some facts which follow)
First, the weather - 50 -55 with winds out of the West at 20 to 100 MPH (maybe 30).
I had been forewarned that this ride starts fullbore. So, I headed out early and did a ten mile warm up. Problem was, we finished 10 minutes early and the wind ripped away any warmth it could find.
We leave Great Bridge Cyclrey at 6:00 sharp. there is a fast group and a medium group. I head out with the fast group. Bill Gilmer and I chat for a while, Kevin Horvath is there, I also see a bunch of familiar faces Gene Rutledge, Kieth Johson, ... I figure, "Hang on as long as I can, then drift back to the medium group. Half mile down the road, then turn left, cross winds are buffeting the group, nobody is echeloning. How the hell did I end up three back from the front. I take my pull, we're rolling at 25. i tuck in about three quarters back. The group is already spreading out. The pace is now closer to 27. Keep in mind, this isn't with a tail wind. We're about five miles in, I let folks rolling of the front tuck in infront of me (midpack gate keeping). I know the next left turn is going to jack it through the roof, we are about to benifit from that 25 MPH tailwind. I grab a goo and a big drink of H2O. Left turn, accelerate out of the turn, grab the wheel, tuck in and hold on. I glance down to see if my computer is registering this, my heart rate is in mid VO2 range. I'm holding. This goes on for another 7 - 10 minutes. At one glance, we're doing 30 something, I could'nt focus. That's it, I drift out and signal the guy behind me that I'm dropping off. Heart rat is at 98% max STILL! Speed is 31 MPH. I do not ride solo for long, I see Mitch from AAB drifting out. I do a Bridge Interval and grab Mitch's wheel. We drift further back at 27 MPH. As we roll, we begin to pick up more victims. Before long, we have the B group at about 12 riders and growing. Some of these guys look like death warmed over. Thus the name of the ride. We are now rolling steady at 28. Mitch takes a long pull with me on his wheel. Keep in mind Mitch is about 160 lbs. so, basically, I'm pulling the group. Mitch pulls off, I take a 30 sec pull and roll to thw back. what do you think those ungrateful dead looking bastards do now that they've recovered? Yep - jack it back up to 30. I hold on, take anothe pull and I'm spent. Lets see, Tueesday was suppose to be 15 minutes at Tempo and 2X15 LT. I think I got that covered. I'm still at high LT or Llow VO2. Now it time to do some TT work. I see guys drifting off the B group, I jump, another bridge interval. I'm with four riders now, we turn back towards Chesepeake - Full on head wind! the four of us manage about 18 MPH MAX. We actually maintain our gap. turn to a side wind, begin to close the B group. 36 miles down, 6 to go. We catch the B group, tuns out it had grown to be more of an A- group. Right as we latch onto the back, Yellow sign sprint! Looks like I'm TT'ing the rest of the way. I gathered up some other straglers. We finish less than a minute after the A and A- groups. The A group is talking about 35+ in tailwinds and sustained for miles.
I head over to AAB for much needed hydration (chocolate stout). On the drive over, I jump up in my car seat OMG I got the worst butt check cramp ever!
I will now schedule a boon-dogle (meeting) once a month in VB on Tuesdays just to continue this torture. I might need a 23-11 cassette if I aspire to ride this more often.
Thursday at 0715 we rolled out and did 35 with about 12 riders. Some rain but, 85 - 90 % Max HR.