I rode with the Blue Moose crew last night, and it went surprisingly bad. I'm not entirely sure why. If I were to offer two guesses, they would be 1) my rear brake was rubbing the first half of the ride and 2) it was hot, and I think it was my first HOT ride of the year.
I made sure I drank lots of water throughout the day, and I'm sure that helped. It didn't seem to matter though, as when we hit the first climb, I had already started going backwards. Just wasn't feeling it at all, despite being rested. I just had no legs and my heart rate was through the roof. Not a good combo. The front/fast group got a gap, and I wanted to bridge badly but nothing was happening. Once a gap happens on rides like these, you're going to get separated by a stoplight/car/slower riders, so you can't let it happen. I got stuck behind a couple of slower riders, and then one thing led to another, and I'm tailgunning. Yuck.
Then I almost get dropped off the face of the earth on our 2nd climb, and I'm really wondering what's going on. I hadn't felt that slow in a long damned time. JEESH! I wasn't hurting really bad, just had no gas. Like not even fumes. Once I got to the top of then 2nd climb, I caught up with a few fellas (quiet Brian having a nice spin while I'm suffering), and we got stopped at the light to cross Roe. When I finally stopped, if it wasn't 110 degrees I don't know what it was. It was almost so hot it hurt. But the light changed and we carried on.
The 2nd group got larger and larger, and we all got stuck at SMPkwy, and that light took a solid 4-5 minutes to change, which really sucked since you can't really just run it. Shortly thereafter, I got pissed and got off my bike and checked my rear brake. Sure enough, the left arm had about 1mm tolerance so I opened up the quick release and started riding again. It felt a little better, but I was pretty gassed at that point. I hammered up and caught the group, and felt a marginally undeathlike. Towards the end of the ride, there is a pretty good hill and I got up that in pretty short order, as my legs were feeling a bit more whippy at that point.
My left hamstring was giving me problems again, and I need to keep at stretching it. I've been lax in doing that, and it sucks when it flares up. If I can dedicate some efforts into stretching it and still have problems, I probably need to look at getting a real fit done. We'll see.
Anyway, I was pretty whooped by the time we finished the ride, so I just sauntered back home and a state of stupor. I hope to do it again next week and not have so many issues and stay up front.