I know, for sure, that I'm not in very good cycling shape. I would venture a guess that while most people out on the road are in August-shape, I'm more in April-shape. You know what it feels like to occasionally feel good pushing the pedals, but you know you really don't have much depth of fitness or speed? Whether you do or don't, that is where I am. Too much time between rides, too many one to two week breaks, too much beer (or gin or tequila or wine or vodka - well, anyway, you get the point) and the end result is that you can be pedaling around in August with April fitness. But knowing that on a rational level didn't stop me from going out for the Morning Ride today. And really, that was stupid.
It wasn't a brilliant beginning when I didn't get to the start on time. I saw the group way down the road and started after them. It took about 2.5 miles of me going "fast" and them dawdling along, but I managed to catch them a few blocks before the drop down Waneta onto the Palouse Highway. And then . . . something happened that I don't ever recall happening before. I got dropped going downhill. Not panicking, I picked up my speed and caught the tail of the group just as the hill up to Baltimore started. Bad timing for me. I got dropped again. Hard. How hard did I get dropped, you ask?
- I was so far back that some guys in the group thought about leaving gel pack and water provisions along the road so I could find my way.
- I was so far back that Tim Pawlenty felt bad for me. (Apparently election year jokes don't age very well - does anyone buy Ma Pawlenty even remember Tim's candidacy?)
- I was so slow that a boy scout offered to help me across the street.
- I was so bad off that even the Spokane Police Department deemed that I wasn't a threat.
- I was so far behind I got worried about getting lapped.
- I was so far behind that when I got back to Hatch Road, I immediately headed up to try to be on time for Wednesday's ride.
- I was so weak that Jens Voigt called me and said I was never allowed to say his name again.
- I was so slow that a couple of moms with strollers passed me on High Drive yelling "biker up!"
- It was so bad off that a Sheriff pulled me over and ticketed me for impersonating a bike rider.
- I was so slow that when I checked to see if my brake was rubbing, the brake actually laughed at me.
- I was so far behind that Tom Wessels felt bad about making fun of me. Sure, he did it anyway, but he felt bad.
- I was so far behind that Alberto Contador called me to offer me some of his beef.
- I was so slow that I went to the physical therapist to see if there was something wrong and they told me that if I was really diligent with my therapy that in a few months I could buy a bike and use it to get some exercise.