Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Welcome Back TNR and More

The Tuesday Night Ride [TNR] has been enjoying our crummy spring weather for several weeks now but as the weather slowly moderates we are seeing improvements. We have been sending out a monthly [or more] newsletter but you have to sign up for it. Go to to do so.

This Tuesday Steve Peplinski put together a nice review of the ride, be sure and read below. Expect a few events coming soon, The Wednesday Women's Ride starts next week and the Bellin Run a few weeks later. Sign up for the newsletter for more updates, stories and a coupon or two. Then get out and ride, slide or run.

TNR May 26th Steve Peplinski

The cowslips yellow blooms dot the roadside ditches, the trillium's are blooming on higher ground, and the bikers are appearing Tuesday night in the In Comp parking lot. We had a good sized group, and as I looked around, I was sure that a "slow group" would form and do a more or less no drop ride. Of course I was mistaken. I tried to hang back and let Brian McWilliams and his Iron Man training group get a suitable lead. But as I soft pedaled out of the parking lot, I noted that only Wayne and I were off the back. Everyone else was busy chasing Brian. I was working pretty hard cruising down University Avenue trying to close the 60 foot gap. By Curry road, it was all one group. The pace seemed comfortable, and not at all punishing. There was a 20 rider pace line in front of me creating a vortex that sucked me along effortlessly. I temporarily gave up thoughts of organizing the B group, and focused on getting my climbing legs warmed up. When we got to the climb from Gershwin road up to Bay Settlement road, I wasn't looking back, only thinking of getting to the top quickly so that the lactate burn didn't last any longer than necessary.

Last week, I had led all the way from In Comp to Luxemburg road. then shortly after we made the turn from Spartan Road to Luxemburg road, Mike cruised by on his new carbon fiber tri bike, with the sun gleaming on the airfoil shaped down tube and fork blades. He started pulling like the 15 mph headwind wasn't happening, and I was off the back within a couple of hundred yards. I fully expected the same thing to happen again this week. Wayne was right there with me, and he said that although he had not done a whole lot of riding yet this year he'd hang with me. We settled in with the A group. I tried to save my legs a bit by skipping every other pull. Wayne threw caution to the winds and stayed in the rotation, never taking a break. We hung in there all the way down Luxemburg road, and about half of the way down Rendezvous road. I was wondering when I'd no longer have the legs to keep up. I figured it would be either the hill just across highway 54, or the hill just before Thiry Daemes road. But as I was considering what was to come, Wayne popped off the back. Since I don't believe riders come to group rides to ride alone, I dropped back with him. He encouraged me to get back on, and even offered to pull me up. We gave it a try for a couple of hundred yards, but my heart rate was spiking, my lungs were burning, and I was starting to feel a little bit of nausea from the effort, Even if we actually caught them, I knew that I'd be wasted, and unable to keep up.

We eased up a bit, and soon were caught by a couple of riders who had the idea that they could bridge up to the fast group. Wayne and I offered to help, and we started pulling up the big hill just past 54. My legs gave out as the hill steepened just before the crest, and they sling-shot- ted past me when my speed dropped to about 20 mph. Before long, we were joined by Carl and Sue on their tandem. Sue needed to adjust the seat post, so we took a short break at the highway K stop sign. At that point, a couple of others who had been shelled earlier on Luxemburg road caught up. We now had a nice little group. We rode down Thiry Daems together, jogged over on County Line Rd to Mary's Rd, and as paint ball hill came into view, we noticed one of the chasers that Wayne and I had pulled up the hill earlier had given up the chase, and was coming back to join us.

On Nicolet drive, I organized a rotating pace line. We were working together really well, and just about everyone got the idea that getting to the front meant that your job was to let the next rider past. Of course we raced up Benderville hill, and dropped Roland in the process. I was able to slow the group down to wait, and once again, we rotated like a precision clock until UWGB. It was heartening to hear the faster riders thank me after the ride for slowing it down so the group could re-form. For me, it was the best ride of the season.


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