After the ride the day before I was looking at my Sunday ride as a "recovery" ride. I should have been paying closer attention to the route. I got up in the morning with my quads a little sore from the sprinting I did on Saturday. Breakfast, shower, get the bike on the truck, and head out. I've got it down pretty well so that I got to the meeting spot 15 minutes before the meeting time, which was plenty of time to get the bike off, put things back on it (computer, saddle bag, etc.), and the rest of the bike clothes.
As with last week Her Highness, Princess Bob, was full of positive energy this morning. I fear he may be a "morning person". I, as some can attest, am not. We did a bit of stretching, and then usual review of the route. Bob mentioned an option for "extra badass points" and I was feeling a need for a challenge. Or my brain wasn't fully awake. Either way, I was thinking "why not?". Then the usual safety speech and we were off.
The interesting thing about the first part of the route is that it basically took me back home - or within 500 feet of it anyway. This was good for me to do, since I've been thinking about starting to ride to these rides anyway. The effort of putting the bike on the truck and whatnot isn't worth saving a little bit of riding. We'll see how I'm feeling about it next weekend. As the rides get longer I'm not sure the extra 5 miles might be necessary. Also the group was moving VERY fast to start with - 15+ mph on the straights.
However that speed was not to last, and the climbing started. I'm not a climber...yet. We did a few familiar hills and eventually ended up at Robert's Market. As I was coming up to Robert's Market I heard a honk behind me and it was Tom. I pulled in to the parking lot and said hi to him. He commented we were fast - I had to explain that we weren't stopping here. I was mistaken and thought we'd end up at the *other* Robert's Market but I was wrong. He was at the right Robert's Market - we were going to be looping back around to it.
A quick hug and I was off. Shortly I came to Alpine Road - the slight detour that Bob was offering as some extra climbing. As I was starting up Chris Thomas was coming back down because he is a super fast badass. (I need to stop comparing myself to him - it only makes me feel lame.) It turns out, however, that it wasn't a mile up to the top. It was 2.5 miles. Fortunately it was a gentle and very beautiful climb. It was hard, but nothing insanely steep. It wasn't as much fun on the way down because of the windy and damp road. No insane speeds were achieved.
Thankfully after all that effort lunch was next up. Bob made a sensible choice of a turkey avocado BLT. I saw a southwest tri-tip sandwich on the menu and had to get that. It was tasty. I almost succumbed to a monster Rice Krispy treat they had there but I was able to leave it behind. I tried to eat quickly (but not too quickly) so that I wouldn't hold up the sweeps.
While I did leave with the sweeps I wasn't with them too long. We soon caught up to a few people and while I would have loved to ride with them I felt the need to keep pushing. The post-lunch part of this ride was basically a repeat of my first ride of the year and I was hoping it was going to go better. As always the quarry in Los Altos was...creepy. After a bit I caught up to some other ride leaders who I was with for the rest of the day. We even caught up to Bob which was nice because he's a very strong rider.
All in all I was happy with my performance on Sunday. Strava gave me 15 trophies which was nice. But more importantly I feel like I've made progress since the start of the year. 85 miles this weekend and many more to go. I'm hoping that by training hard the ride won't be too bad. Now I just have to keep at it.