Saturday, October 13, 2007


Now that I'm starting to get a little more settle here in the Windy City, I'm trying to get out and meet more of the cycling community. And trying to get some good training rides in is good motivation to get my but out of bed early on the weekends to meet up with any of the various team/groups rides out of the city..

There's a weekly saturday ride with xXx Racing that meets at 8am not too far from my place. They're a pretty large group, but I've been reluctant to join b/c I'm not sure if I could hang, and 8am is damn early for me on a saturday.

Alex, owner of Roscoe Village Bikes, let me know about another group that goes out Saturday mornings even closer to my house, but still at 8am. So I thought I'd give it a shot this weekend.

So I managed to get out of bed early after a night of drinking and bowling (badly). I made it to the meeting spot, introduced myself around, and we were off. It was a nice brisk 20mph pace from the city up to Highland Park. 2 by 2, we were able to chat along the way. We toook a break at a coffee shop in Higland Park next door to Higher Gear bike shop. A few minutes after we arrived, the xXx group rolled in en masse. There must have been about 50 riders! After some chatting, nibbling, and a lot of shivering, we got back on the bikes.. We started off at a slow pace to lessen the chilling effect of the wind. Not long after the xXx Express went blowing by and we latched on to the back. Now were talkin!! We were hummin' along now at about 24-25mph, with sprints up to 30. I wasn't sure how long I was gonna be able to hang, but was feeling good so far. With such a large group now, we were able to blow through many intersections, and the pace stayed high. I was happy, at first, to see at least one other 'cross bike in the group, till I noticed he was riding SS... and FIXED!!

Both of us, however, got our props for riding 'crossers in a predominantly roadie crowd. It was at this point that I looked around and noticed we'd shed all but about 15 riders. I don't know if we dropped the rest or if they just took a different route. I was starting to feel the effects of the pace, but as long as I stayed in the draft, I figured I could make it. Fortunately I knew the roads we were travelling, so in the worst case I could find my way home. Eventually we came to Montrose and Damen, so I bid the group adieux and headed east toward home.

I'm feeling pretty good about today's ride. A much better result that the last up tempo training ride I did, though I was in the draft almost the entire time this go 'round. But still, I'm getting some good hard efforts in, and think I'll be in good shape for my next 'cross race in 8 days...

Ok.. time for food!



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