(Tuesday Night/7-23) Can you say, "crack?" That's exactly what I did at this week's Tuesday night fast and furious Sunset circuit training ride in Redlands, but not before putting in a few courageous, yet worthless efforts. Since my nine-day business trip up to Washington and then to Monterey, I've felt sluggish like a wet sponge and haven't been able to stay with a break away for three trips around the circuit. Two Tuesday nights in a row I've been spit off the back like a cannon, only completing two laps with the chase group. Chalk it up to too many days off the bike or maybe even to over training, but either way, it's frustating as hell. Nevertheless, I was my own worst enemy last Tuesday as I foolishly tried a solo break away early on (in big ring). The end result was fatigue instead of glory. I had my reasons for the attempt. Mainly because the week prior I got caught sleeping when the break away occurred and by the time I had worked my way up to its tail end I was cooked from dodging back markers. This week I wanted to avoid that problem at any cost so I went out fast and paid the price. Afterward Johnny T said I lit too many matches too quickly. He was right.
After my first attack a chase group, made up of the usual suspects reeled me in (with little effort I suspect). The group was larger than usual, but wasn't affecting the pace. It was still fast. I merged in somewhere in the middle to recover from my effort and actually started to feel good, that is until an unknown Jelly Belly attacked not long after passing Caroline Park. Garner Vertican followed and so did I as everyone else sat back. What was I thinking. Match number two lit. It didn't last long and the break group we had broken off from caught me before I could even get comfortable on Garner's wheel. Moments later I popped. I sat up in disgust just as we reached the summit of Sunset on the first go around.
I hooked up with a couple of other guys who had cracked earlier and at one point it looked as though we may bridge back up to the the breakaway. It didn't happen - instead we got caught by a chase group. Trevor Walton was in the chase group and was doing most the work until we climbed past Caroline Park starting our second lap. He too may have lit too many matches too quickly.
The ride concluded with a speeding pelaton down to San Timateo Canyon via Live Oak Canyon Rd. Nerve racking as hell, but fun none the less. The total turnout I'd say was approximately 50. Not bad for a 100-degree day. As we ended the ride with a light spin back into Redlands a member of the Trek/VW team commented on my attack and I told him I felt like I was going backwards recently. Being a seasoned road racer, he assured me that that was typical of the month of July. I'm taking the next two days off before the two-day mountain bike stage race this weekend at Rim Nordic in Running Springs.