Pushed Up a Hill
The other day. I joined a ride that my friends ride with some people I don’t know. The text I got regarding the ride was sent to me on Tuesday and it read, “We ride aggressively from Legacy in Waukee on Hickman to Redfield back to Rendezvous in Adel, then Waukee. 36 miles.” Hmmm. Aggressively. Because I’m curious and stubborn (2 important ingredients for stupid), I was definitely up for it.
I knew three of the guys on the ride and rode with them during RAGBRAI. All strong riders, all faster than me. One of the 3 rode a fixed gear bike on RAGBRAI. Since then, I had ridden with him once and he rode a tandem. I felt confident that this would be the ride where he would show up with a road bike sporting some gears. I arrived in Waukee and I was not disappointed. Another of the three is a spinning instructor and has been for more than a decade. The third rides strong and never appears to feel the burn I know so well.
Already feeling like I could top out my speed in mile 2, I slowed from 21 mph to 19 mph just as the other riders increased to 22-23 mph. When that happens, it feels like I’m standing still. It’s incredible to see a group take off like that. I’m not sure what held me back on that ride, but I was stuck in a 17-19 mph pace. The guys were at a 25 mph pace. Before the last 7-8 miles, we regrouped at Rendezvous in Adel for a steak and a beer. From Adel to Waukee there is a slight hill. It’s a very gentle grade incline. It was dark. I was not riding fast. For the first time another rider (my new best friend) pushed me up a hill. It is a crazy feeling to get that kind of help. The stubborn side of me was disgusted with myself, but the gracious side of me was warm and fuzzy all over. Next year I will push him up a hill.