We’re headed to Louisville today for a training weekend with some triathlon friends. Three out of four of us are doing the Ironman there in October. I’m not one of them.
But my first tri of the summer is coming up at Lake Zurich in mid-July. So the big training days will be great for the legs and lungs.
So we’ll get in some wicked good riding in the hills of Kentucky. I’ve not spent any time in that state other than perhaps driving through a section of it long ago. I expect it to be humid, probably hot, and a bit rainy given the weather prediction.
Which is much like the weather where I grew up in southeast Pennsylvania.
Zippity Do Dah
Last weekend my legs had real zip in them for all 65 miles of the Swedish Days ride. So I plan to carry that confidence along even though I’ll be the lone road bike among three other tri-bikes, all of whom are naturally strong riders and somewhat scary fit. I hope I can Do Dah with them.
Of coruse, fear doesn’t help you stay on the wheel. Determination does. And if there’s a gap I’ve gotten used to riding some miles along among bands of triathletes. There’s no real glue holding them together in a group ride. It’s a very conservative sport that way. Every athlete for themselves. Responsible for your own pace.
Which is as it has to be. The rules in most triathlon races say ‘no drafting’. It’s not like teams could ever expect to emerge out of the water at the same time and race in a pack anyway. So it’s a solo world that every triathlete occupies.
Ironically, the road bike criterium nationals are taking place in Louisville this weekend as well. I might find my way to witness some of that. Depends on the weather I suppose.
Crits are almost the opposite of everything about triathlons. It’s the rare rider that can tear off the front of a crit and chew on it long enough to stay away from the group. Instead it is a rider’s best bet to stay tucked into the group using little energy as possible for most of the race. Ride the draft. Cover the surges. Jump back on when the group rejoins and wait for the big break to occur with a few laps to go. See if you’ve got any zip left in hour legs so you can Do Dah Sprint
That’s the typical pattern anyway. There are exceptions to every rule. That’s why we all ride, to find out how exceptional we feel on any given day.