I was starting to worry--my last 4 group rides have featured spectacular bonks by me about 75% into the distance. Last night, I broke that record and found the keys to success. Here they are, in no particular order.
1. For a 27 mile ride, come late and only ride 20.*
2. Ride with people who have had other things effect their performance.**
3. Have a goal for the end of the ride that is worth getting to***
4. Chose your pack/peleton position wisely****
*While I was so ready to get to this ride early, a conference call came up at 5pm that went til almost 5:45. The call was semi contentious so I was in a surly mood. Texted the gang and said we'd meet them along the route. (KOC needed a ride to the ride) Parked Guz at the bottom of the Woodlawn hill, got bike out and within 2 minutes saw the peleton of BPZ, BT, TL come to meet us. They had already ridden 7 miles.... I was fresh and cranky.
**One of our peleton was 'addled'. After being one the strongest riders last the last few outings, he was uncharactisticaly wan. Ever see Raging Bull or Rocky? Suffice it to say some of his mojo wasn't with him. He was smiling, but not fightng for the lead. TL had his mojo with him and was off the front several times, but see point #1 on how to deal with that.
***Gotta love the state of Missouri. At 7:20am I had dropped daughter Sarah off at Sion, across the state line. @ 7:26 I stopped at Royal's Liquors and bought a case of the new Schlitz long necks. KS doesn't get Schlitz yet, and their stores don't open til about noon. Over lunch, bought (2) 16# bags of ice to cool it down. It was waiting in the back of Guz for when we finished. I was ready to slake some thirst.
****It was a perfect late afternoon. 80 degrees, 10-15 mph wind from south. We started riding into the wind, but while everyone else rode 10 miles into the wind, I only rode 3 into the wind before we turned West. At that point, I hopped on the wheel of BP-Z and found out what it's like to have a domestique. (As Ferris Bueller would say, if you have the means, I highly recommend it). Cruising along in the slipstream was nice, especially when we turned north and had the 10-15mph wind behind us. On Valley View Parkway we hit 36 (Or he hit 36 and I was semi-gliding 3 inches off his back wheel), then as the road had slight incline, we settled in at a nice 27mph pro-peleton pace for a while. Que bella.
All in all, 20.8 miles, 18.5mph average, average HR 141 (last ride ave HR was 158), and yes, I was ready to responsibly replace some carbohydrates.