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Hunting New Game

May 19, 2012

Today’s Ride: 20km—Mineral Springs loop

Weather: Sunny, warming. It will be a hot day

Out shortly after 9:00 this morning. The chill was gone and it was clear that today would be a very warm day. But not yet. Typically, I’m very happy to ride my own pace, but this morning ahead of me on my way up Wilson St., there were a string of cyclists out ahead of me. After a couple of longer rides this week, this morning’s ride was always going to be a short 20k, so why not bury myself? I was happy turning a higher gear than usual, and felt pretty strong in doing so. Sometimes, all you need is a bit of motivation. Moving well and quickly on the mild incline, I realize that this is where my fitness tells.

Moving comfortably past cyclists, controlling my breathing, was a nice feeling. I didn’t feel over my limit at all, in spite of the greater effort. At the light, a couple of young, lean cyclists were clearly waiting for a friend before they started their way up Wilson St. I had an eerie feeling that the hunter (me) could become the hunted if their companion were to join them shortly. I never found out. One. Two. Three. Passing cyclists and maintaining a nice and fluid rhythm and not insignificant amount of speed. The fitness is coming along. I was in the inner ring, but on the 14t cog. By summer, I’ll be hammering up this in the big ring, but maybe the 17; not a lot in, maybe (I’ll need to do the math on that). Almost there. The final cyclist saw me coming and pushed hard as we reached Sulphur Springs Rd. I shifted into the big ring and powered my way along the rolling, but flatter terrain. He was clearly working much harder than I was, but I was gaining. Not enough, before the end of the road. He turned left; I turned right. I could almost sense his sigh of relief as he let off the pedals on his turn and hunched his shoulders from the exertion, as I turned the other way. Winding down towards Mineral Springs. I felt good. Even the faux flat at the bottom, which invariably kills my momentum caused no difficulty and I stayed in the big ring. It was a good day for a short, hard effort. And nice to see the improvement in fitness in a relatively short period of time.

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