Back to the reason for the original heading.
It is not often you get 70 degree sunny days in early March. Lets face it, here in PA we only get about 50 blue sky days a year, so one must take advantage when they can. So of course a ride was in order. So I made plans with a couple of friends to get out after work. One could go early and one a little later. So I devised a plan to do a short 15 miler with the one friend then meet up with the other to go for a longer ride, reaching for the 50 mile mark for the day.
I've been seriously lacking in saddle time this year and figured this the perfect plan to get some good long tempo riding in. So Matt and I headed out at a good even pace. The winds were not too bad, compared to what they have been lately and of course the weather was perfect. We cruised around the first 15 miles without a hitch. As we rounded the bend to where we were to meet our 3rd rider I see a 4th. A familiar face to me, and immediately knew that my steady tempo ride was about to turn into a hammer fest, wrought with reign-deer games.
There sits Mark, a guy that I have spent countless hours with on the bike. Riding places on our road bikes that most would cringe at. No winter maintenance was our battle cry. A gravel road, a good excuse to find out where it went. Bad weather, no problem. So I knew I was in for some major pain.
So after some niceties we were off again, like a shot out of a cannon. It was not bad at first as I had a 15 mile warm up. Attacking the first climb, then ramping up the speed on the decent, only to catch the draft of a pickup and accelerate even more. But as the ride progressed, my lack of mileage for the year started to show, and Mark loves to take advantage of such situations, so he never let up for the entire ride. Needless to say my legs were thrashed at the end but in a good way.