Finally, the ride I've been waiting for. I woke up around 6 in the morning to a 20 Degree Fahrenheit windy day. My mentor, Robbie Wade, texted me, "Have you been outside yet mate?" I said, "No, but I can't wait to see how cold it is. It'll get me tough." I think this motivated him because it really was cold, almost too cold to go out. But I wasn't going to admit it. We set out for the drive to Haymarket at around 7am and got there in about 40 minutes. Hit up Robbie's blog at robbiewade1.blogspot.com for some really good training blogs.
There were about 30 brave souls that turned up for the below freezing ride. Some of the riders included Chuck Hutcheson (Harley Davidson), Matias Palavecino (Snapple Lyte Water), Joe Dombrowski (Trek Livestrong U23), and Matt Thompson who used to ride pro in Europe. It was awesome to see Joe and talk to him about the Livestrong Team. He's an extremely talented young rider and has a strong and busy future ahead of him. The first hour or so of the ride was a moderate paced warm-up with a few hills and some pace lines with high 30 to low 40mph speeds at times. There was about 3 miles of gravel at the end of the warm-up. Having not ever ridden gravel I fell...hard, on my left side and it hurt. I wasn't about to stop though, hell no. I got my ass up quicker then I had fallen and was right back on the bumpy gravel again, bleeding from my knee and my hip.
A pre-ride interview with me, sorry for bad audio. Video courtesy of Robbie Wade.
We stopped after the gravel and let everyone who got a flat tire on the rocks (4 people, including Robbie) get a chance to eat, drink, fix their bikes and regroup. Then we were off again and onto an extremely quick pace up a rode with rolling hills. I dropped my keys with under a mile left of the speed section before I would ride off on another route with Joe and 3 other guys leaving the 2nd half of the ride behind. To make sure I didn't get left by the 4 man group I caught a ride from the Haymarket Team Car that was behind us the whole time.
The 5 of us went off back to the shop on a different route then the rest. The route was shorter, but I'm not sure it was that much easier, with at least 8 miles of straight gravel and extremely steep hills. Not surprisingly, I fell again, on the same exact side, the left. I was really hurting, I felt fine energy wise, but my leg was killing me. We finally made it back and got warm in Foster's Restaurant. I hope to ride with Joe next weekend and some more before he's off to Europe to train with the Livestrong Team for the 2011 RR Season. Thanks for the ride guys! I'm not really looking forward to how I'm going to feel tomorrow but after thinking about it, regardless of the falls, it was the funnest ride I've ever been on.