The A game ride

63 mi. Suzanne S told me earlier this week about the Saturday thing she does. Run at 5:30am from the store, do the Donald Ross Bridge or the duck pond loop. Then spend 10 minutes running to the pier, 10 minutes back and ride with a fast group. I decided it would be learning for me and a better workout than another 16-20 miler. I ran the duck pond loop with Diane LeBar, then to the Marcinski light with the group. On the way back I saw Karen Paxson and then Rick and Suzanne pass me, asking if I was riding today. Apparently I spent too much time on the out-and-back portion of the run! I zipped back to the store, got my biking things and made it to Marcinski before the group did. Way before the group did! I found Suzanne and Rick warming up, they said the ride was starting at J-Town bikes and we’d wait by Loggerhead for them to come up. We warmed up on the beach road like any other ride. The Jupiter Island bridge caught us both ways, kind of an unlikely event. We sped up once on the island, this was a big group no doubt influenced by TdF happenings each night on TV. The line singled out and the speed rose to 24mph. Once further up the island we were at 25-26. After the fork in the road our whole group was going 28-29, about all I felt I could pedal knowing we were going to the tiki hut today. We went on Gomez road, I found it as easy to do 25 in the paceline as 22 myself. Before the tracks on Gomez, Rick slowed to talk with people that we discovered weren’t going any further. This small pause meant the main group got onto Dixie Hwy and took off. I rode with Rick and Suzanne to catch them, we passed off leading til it was my turn. I pressed into the effort of closing the gap, going 27-28. When I ceded the lead, no one was with me. Now I was going quick, tired from the pull and alone. I kept a respectable pace thru Port Salerno, found a couple riding themselves and drafted of them past Sandsprit Park and up to Indian Street. I rode solo thru Stuart and over both bridges. Some riders weren’t there yet, they opted for the 70 mile loop to the north bridge. I was fearful that everyone would leave the moment I pulled up and I’d be alone all the way home. They were relaxed and refueling, chatting and comparing stories. I refilled my water bottles and got set for the dash home. Most climbed the two bridges together, then a faster segment of our group broke away and headed home. I stayed with a group of maybe 8 people through to Port Salerno, where we met a few stragglers and lost a few in the traffic lights. We pulled back thru Port Salerno, over the tracks and down Dixie. Some guys with Bill Bone shirts gave minimal pulls. Same thing for Gomez Rd to Bridge Road. Once there, we met up with a different group that contained a few people our group knew. This was to be our Jupiter Island paceline to the bridge by the lighthouse. Good to stay with them, our pace was way better than I would have done alone. The final piece along Jupiter and Juno Beach still had speed, I was very satisfied I didn’t completely blow up on this ride. It puts perspective into the rides I do participate in, they need some more meat if I’m going to improve. This was a good idea to do this Saturday ride!

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