Anyways, I was accompanied by my buddy Fig (yes another nick-name...get used to it), which is significant here for a number of reasons. First, he is 17 years younger than me; second, he is a competitive gymnast, and a gymnastics coach; he commutes 5 days a week to work and back by bicycle (at least 8 million kms each way according to his tellings). In other words he is lean, fit, and fast on a bike. (Fig races as well, and my only saving grace in keeping me competitive with him is that his high metabolism has him burn through his nutrition quickly, that and I am not smart enough to know when to quit). So, just the right riding partner to make me hurt...especially considering that we chose a route to give us some nasty hill training. Add that it was -8degrees Celcius, and windy.
So, I did manage to maintain and keep up the Fig-pace for the most part. However, where he appeared to be barely breathing, I had body parts questioning my commitment to our relationship...lungs collapsing, diaphragm rupturing, quads threatening to run away with the glutes for a trial separation. Exactly the right kind of road training ride. We got in about 80kms, including 2100 feet elevation (climbing), burning 3100 calories, and averaging about 26 km/hr which wasn’t bad considering the hills and the wind.
Bottom line here is, if you want to get better, ride with someone better than you; with someone who will push your limits and make the effort worthwhile. Yes, every good story has to have a moral, and now that I’ve made it, I’m done...for now.