Lots to blog about today, since I didn't do any all week. Hang onto your hats!
This week was the first of our bike club's weekly women's only rides. It was terrific to see about 35 women gathered in Lexington, eager to go out and ride. We had multiple beginner groups, and I led a ride with 6 women. The route was short (20 miles) and we managed to work together to ride at 16 mph. It was truly inspiring to hear how proud of themselves these women were after the ride! They were in awe of themselves, commenting on their max speeds and heart rates. One of the women said to me, "I have never ridden down Page Hill without my brakes! And it wasn't scary!" Truly fun to see other women so excited about a sport I love.
We had good weather, so Mike and I headed over to the weekly TT - I raced, and he helped the officials from his chair ;-). On the warmup, I noted that the whole ride out was into a pretty stiff head/cross wind. My legs also didn't feel great. I started 5th, behind a friend I knew I would not be able to catch (although he tried to convince me that I would). Given the wind, I was trying to keep an even pace hoping that I could save some legs for the hills on the way back. I was frustrated by the wind, and looked down to see numbers well below 20 mph - not a good indicator!
I reached the Carlisle rotary and turned away from the wind (thankfully). Unfortunately, as I was trying to adjust my shifting I ran through some bumps in the road, and my computer flew off into the road (shifting, bumps, doing 35 mph - didn't think I should stop to pick it up!). Now I was flying blind (except for my HRM and RPE). I continued on, figuring that I was going to put in my slowest time in two years. I did have a bright spark as I actually passed someone going up the final climb, and pushed it as hard as I could coming into the finish.
The end result (despite wind, a lost computer and an 8-speed casette with 9-speed shifters ) - 26:11 (22.34 mph) which is 30 seconds faster than last week - WHEW! Here's hoping that next week will see a further improvement.
Nothing but flowers on Friday - from Mike, and from the garden.
For the second year, I attended the Simmons School of Management women's conference - Ways Women Lead. It amazes me to sit in a room of 3000 women, on a Saturday, listening to keynote speakers like Jehan Sedat, Marta Fox, Yue-Sae Kan, and Queen Latifah talk about women as leaders. This is an inspiring day, and I was most impressed with a panel discussion that included Eileen Collins (NASA astronaut - first woman to command a space shuttle), Linda Greenlaw (fishing captain/author - made famous in The Perfect Storm), and Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch (retired Lt Col, US Army - highest ranking Hispanic woman). These women are true leaders, and motivate me to be as well.
Saturday was also Cinco de Mayo, and we had a small celebration at the house. Lots of mexican food and margaritas! We don't mind celebrating Mexican victory over the French - any excuse to party (and decorate - we had inflatable cacti and palm trees, pinatas and chili pepper lights!).
In our area, we are pretty lucky to have a series of very well marked bike loops. One of the local clubs provides cue sheets for various rides, and some of those are made easier to follow with markings painted on the road to indicate the loop and any turns. My teammate and I set off on what is called the Apple Pi loop - 55 miles.
The wind was blowing pretty good here in New England, and the temps were in the lower 50s. I was under-dressed, and cold for most of the ride, despite some of the hill climbs in the apple country. Rolling down Oak Hill at over 30 mph in that cold was not as much fun as normal... And somehow, even though we rode in a loop, we seemed to be riding INTO the wind for the entire 55 miles!
It was nice, though, riding past the apple orchards in bloom!