We rode familiar roads this weekend. The exact same route back as out. One could call that boring or engaging. It’s all about the company.
Five triathletes. Two on road bikes. At one point during the return trip, a rider in his aero helmet (because it was cold outside, but then hot) asked how it was that a roadie could keep up with the tri-bikes.
The answer was simple. Draft like a boss when you can. The 30% of position efficiency given away on a road bike versus a tri-bike must be made up somewhere. It’s all about riding close to the wheels of the next rider up.
And then came the turn to pull. That meant riding in the drops. Stay loose in the arms and skate on the pedals. Even circuits. Hold 24-25 and go for a couple minutes, maybe more if the wind is at the back. Enjoy it, in other words.
Out we went through a light breeze. Back we came with the wind now circling us. Sort of a tailwind. Sometimes a crosswind. Zig we rode. Then zag.
Through the little town of Kaneville we returned. The Purple Store was open for smalltown residents to pick up cinnamon buns or whatever Sunday demanded. We’d already stopped at the Casey’s gas station out in Maple Park. Popped some ice in the water bottle. Ate a PowerBar and a Larabar. Fuel for the home journey.
By the time we returned the Sunday morning traffic had picked up. The mid-spring frost had melted by then. The sun was warm on our faces. Later that day, a touch of color showed on the cheeks.
Out and back and all points in between. Stay alert and keep a brisk cadence. Soak up the scenery as the farm fields breathed back ammonia and the hog farm nearly choked off our esophagus as we passed. This is spring. This is Illinois. This is cycling almost anywhere in the world.