The best weather of the weekend was on Saturday morning. While temps were only in the mid-40s, and the wind seemed omni-present, at least the sun was shining, and the roads were dry.
Given that we had to head to Maine later in the day, and that I really wanted to put in some good miles, I decided to go with Mike on the NEBC ride leaving out of Bedford. I should have known when I showed up in the parking lot and was the ONLY woman on the ride that I would have trouble, but I went along anyway. I figured that I could ride with the group as long as possible, and then do my own thing.
We headed out of Bedford on Rte 225 - all the way into Groton. I managed to stick with the guys on the flats and rollers, but coming out of Carlisle center, I had a HR of 184 climbing the hill. I managed to get back onto the tail of the group, but given the effort I had just put out, I had nothing when the road went up again, and the boys were off. I also got stopped at the light on Rte 27, making it that much harder for me to even THINK about catching back up.
I decided I would follow the same route, but was content to ride on my own (although without the help of a draft, I was pushing into a headwind the whole way). When I reached Westford, the guys had all stopped to regroup. I told them not to wait for me, and that I would just go on and do my own ride. They convinced me, however, to stick it out a little longer - the roads were flatter now going into Harvard.
Amazingly, I felt pretty good, and was able to hang with the pace all the way to Littleton. I was having some trouble with the sudden surges and slowing of the paceline, but figured that was good training for the upcoming races. Once we hit the bottom of Oak Hill, I knew that I would be on my own for quite awhile, so we agreed to regroup in Harvard Center.
After a quick break, we were off again, heading back towards Bedford. I managed again to hang onto the group until we started into the hills coming out of Bolton, and then rode most of the remainder of the ride solo. All the way along Stow Rd, I could see the pack, but since I was zipping along at 21 mph, I knew they were moving much faster, and I didn't have any chance of catching them. I was VERY thankful to have a tailwind on this section of the ride!
In Concord center, Mike doubled back to finish the ride home with me, which gave me a much needed break for awhile. I was elated to get home and see that I finished a 48 mile ride with an average speed of 18.2 mph - especially since I rode about half of the mileage on my own! I think the guys ended up with just about 49 miles for their ride, and an average speed of closer to 20 mph.
After some lunch, Mike and I headed up to Maine, where they received 15" of snow on Thursday. We had to shovel the driveway just to get the car in! I couldn't believe the snowbanks at the house - looked more like the middle of winter than the middle of April. Crummy weather most of the week as well, so looks like any riding will be in the basement.