Too bad Speed Karma opted to stay home!
Woke up to rain this morning. Looked like it was going to be a good day to check out my new rain jacket. Yes, yes, I know, I already have an awesome rain jacket so why did I get a new one? Well, as awesome as my Showers Pass Elite is, it is kind of bulky for this fast road riding. It is really much better as a touring rain jacket. My new jacket has a closer more athletic fit, is lighter weight, and will easily stuff into a jersey pocket. Plus, it is in the team colors (red and black) so I don't look completely like the newbie that I am. Anyway, by the time it was nearing time for me to head to the park, there were big patches of blue sky! Could it be possible? Could the rain magically hold off?
When I got to the park there was no one else there. But, I was early. Just when I was starting to think I would be riding alone, a guy pulled in (Dan--add that one to the list of names I am slowly learning). Then Monik rolled in. Not long after, about 7 more people showed up including Lauren (woo hoo, I was not the only female!). Mark from last week, Tim, Adam (Lauren's hubby), a 15 year old named Alec or Alex, and a couple others that I didn't catch their names. The guys decided on a route and off we went. I heard mention of Waddell Creek. That road counter-clockwise is definitely on the hilly side. But, first we had to go over Sapp Rd hill and then up 62nd to Delphi. They dropped me on Sapp, but I caught up at Black Lake (only because they waited for me and Adam, who came back to make sure I was coming). I lost them again going up 62nd, but they waited for me at Delphi. I told them they would be waiting for me all day at this rate and that they didn't have to. They were real nice about it, but I still don't like slowing people down. We made a plan that, at Waddell Creek, those who wanted to do the hilly part could and those who didn't would continue on Delphi and meet up with the hill riders at Littlerock. At Waddell, Lauren, Mark, Monik, and I stayed on Delphi. The rest headed up the hill. Delphi is not as hilly as Waddell, but there are still some hills to go up. But, there are some to go down too--more rolling. Lauren, who is quite fast, was doing a nice job drafting behind Mark. Mark goes pretty fast and neither Monik or I were able to keep up but, Monik kept up better than me. I felt like I was giving everything I had, yet still not going as fast as they were.
We made it to Littlerock just as the fast boys were coming down the hill off of Waddell. We regrouped and headed back up Maytown Rd. Pretty soon it was just Lauren, Monik, and I. Lauren was going slower so I could stay with her. We even took brief turns at the front of our group of three.
At the freeway interchange, Adam came back to us. The others had slowed down and we were back with the whole group. That was short lived though as they decided to go up Reeder Rd. Once again I was slogging up the hill on my own. Adam, Monik, and Lauren waited at the top. We stayed together to Tilley where we caught up to the others. Monik had to turn for home. I told the rest of the group that, although I was good for the distance, I didn't like them having to wait for me. Lauren said she would stay with me, which was very nice!
We turned off Tilley onto 143rd which was the way we went last Saturday. More hills! We came into Tenino and headed over to 99 to head back home. Lauren, Alec(x), and I went up and over 99 to Offut Lake Rd. Adam was there to make sure we made the turn. We were all back together as we turned onto Waldrick and then Stedman. We took Stedman to Rainier Rd, then turned again on Firtree. At the trail crossing, Lauren and I took the trail. The rest of the guys continued to Rich Rd. a number of us live along the way back to the park. I peeled off at Horizon Point. Lauren got back on the trail, then Yelm Hwy to Boulevard where her and Adam live. I think, Dan was the only one who drove to the park. Everyone else rode from their homes.
Today's not being able to keep up felt different than the Tuesday night getting dropped rides. I suppose there were more hills, but I didn't feel like I was doing my usual on the flat either. It seemed like the only pace that I could stay with was 19 to 20 mph. Usually I can manage at least 21 to 22 without feeling like my lungs are going to burst.
Maybe my Speed Karma took a day off??? Weather Karma was definitely on the ride as we had blue sky and sunshine for the whole time. Now it is back to gloomy and rain.
Total miles: 48
Average speed: 15.6 (should have been more than that!)