Monday, February 13, 2012

Keeping up with the Roadies

Both the roadies were stopped on the Great Highway at the intersection waiting for the light to turn. A second later, one of them takes off running the red light leaving his buddy behind. As always, I wait my turn and then follow. The pace was decent. I was far from running out of breath and could have passed them up if it wasn't for the narrow bike path we were on. It's a smart idea to hold back b/c I'll need my energy when we hit the hills.

We turned the corner at JFK Drive and off we went. I stayed back at about 5-6 bike lengths. Every 30 or so seconds the second rider would look back to see where I was. Looks like he was worried I was catching up. As we continued through the park, the pace got a bit faster. I matched each of their increases in speed. It wasn't until we hit the first hill that I wondered if I'd be able to keep up. DF'ers are usually pretty quick on the elevations relative to the trike.

This was the first time I really attempted to keep up with bicyclists outside ALC, so I was curious how I'd perform with the regular folks. The guys were too proud to wear spandex head to toe, so it was only their jerseys that were skin tight above their baggier trunks.

My heart continued to race higher as the pedal strokes increased in speed. If it weren't for the semi cold weather, I'd be sweating into my eyes. My breathing got louder, but I couldn't hear a peep from the guys in front of me. I kept pace. The distance btw us changed a bit by bit getting shorter, longer, shorter, longer. The straggler continued to check back to see if I was there.

As we reached the top where Golden Gate Park closes its road to pedestrians, cyclists and joggers, the three of us I'm sure were relieved that the hill was starting to flatten. Taking it easy for a bit to catch my breath, I anticipated when I'd make my move. I'd wait for the down hill before pedaling like a mad man.

A couple minutes later we started to descend and already I was pedaling insanely. I love that hill! I passed them, came to a flat and slowed my pedaling to the pace of an oldie. The two were too far back for me to see, but it wasn't long before they caught up and leap frogged ahead of me. The unspoken race was over. Time to rest.

It's definitely more than possible to keep up with these guys on the Catrike Speed. As I've always suspected, it's a matter of endurance. It takes that much more of it to keep up with an upright bike. We pedal faster to go the same speed and uphills will always be more of a drag. Being fit gives us that extra edge to maintain a match.

Speaking of which, that's what I'm lacking. I need to hit the gym again and run more miles on the treadmill to build more endurance. Pedal when they're not pedaling. That's the secret. I felt like throwing up by the time I finished the length of the park and returned to my rest stop at the De Young Museum. This time, it wasn't b/c of a lack of food. I had my breakfast that morning. I just need to build up some ENDURANCE!