Well I did my first ride last Tuesday and made some good connections with the SABA group. We went about 20 miles roughly through some of the back roads and it wasn’t anything terribly hard but it was nice to get the experience of riding with other people.
One of the guys in the group was nice enough to invite me to go with him over to Suches, GA and ride (I think 3) some of the gaps. By far the most challenging bike ride I’ve done, so he’s wasn’t kidding, but I wasn’t cursing him every pedal stroke through. I think when you get into these long distance and hard bike rides the mental aspect starts to come into play, like why the fuck am I doing this or how the fuck am I supposed to keep up with these people? In the end though you do feel good about what you were able to do and could care less. You know the whole point of me doing the triathlon is to just do it, I don’t expect to win or expect a trophy. Just a personal accomplishment. My real drive is to look at doing some touring.
The gaps I speak of are in part of a much larger bike race known as six gap century and the folks who do that are the ones you see plowing by while you struggle going up the mountain. They even make it look easy by passing conversation saying, “Hey how’s it going, it’s a nice day out isn’t it?” and you struggle to respond to simple commands and answers between labored breaths. It is all a matter of training, folks who ride almost everyday are well acquainted with the hills and can ride up them at pretty good speed, probably twice the speed I am currently able to go…if not more.
Of course my bike by comparison is heavy, although I consider it a light bike when compared to what I had in the past, probably half the weight. The other issue I’m currently facing is a tire defect which I’ve decided to go ahead and replace both tires. I simply don’t feel comfortable coasting down hills over 25 mph, becomes a bit more shaky than I like. I mean it is unlikely anything would happen but I do feel that there is the possibility of losing control, that and I still regard myself as being an inexperienced rider so banking hard into corners I just don’t feel comfortable with, so I often ride the brakes going down the hill.