Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Lost a Mini-Race on the Commute This Morning

My 16-mile commute takes me from Capitol Hill to the Microsoft Campus out in Redmond over the I-90 trail, and through Bellevue. I usually like to ride hard & fast as much as possible, and today was no exception. I felt great starting down 12th ave, at a good 35+ km/h rate.

As I was getting on the I-90 bike trail in Seattle, there was another roadie also getting on the trail, fully decked out in Team Chipotle's argyle race kit, and I sat on his wheel during the descent to the flat bridge deck cruising at about 32 km/h.

It wasn't that I was trying to drop the guy, but I pulled around him and bumped the speed up to 36-40 km/h, but that only lasted about 30 seconds due to a tough head-wind. I always seem to make the mistake of passing someone that I'm drafting off of, and then suffering in the head-wind they were pulling me through! The bridge-deck is about 2 miles long, so it can be tough to hold top speed the whole time, but I was sure trying. My speed slowly dropped, first to 32-34 km/h, then 30-32 km/h. Did I mention the head wind??

I didn't look back to see if he was on my wheel or not, but he apparently was, because as soon as the grade started to kick up to get onto Mercer Island, he passed me and started climbing out of the saddle - it's on!

As we started the 2nd half of the climb, he really hammered, basically sprinting up the hill. I was only about 20 ft behind him, also sprinting about as hard as I could. But just as we were about to the top, I started to feel all bonky - you know, ill feeling, legs get numb, etc. Damn! And this is only 3 miles into my commute!

Not that I expected to drop the guy, like I said he looked pretty serious, but I was hoping to test him a little more than that! As he turned left onto Mercer Island Way he glanced back a few times, only to see me 100 ft away, slowly rolling, head looking down towards the handle-bars, heavily breathing.

Needless to say the other 13 miles were pretty slow indeed. It took me about 10 minutes to recover while slowly riding - it's been a while since I felt like that! Nice little taste of racing I suppose.

Note to self: don't go all-out for too long if you don't want to bonk.


Anonymous said...

That may have been Tom Peterson of Team Slipstream. I know he rides and lives in the area.


Anonymous said...

Dennis beat me to it. It's not out of the range of possibility for it to have been Tom. If it was, the encounter wasn't memorable enough for