For those that don't know him, Ray Moore rides his bike like he is starring in a two-wheeled version of a "Speed" sequel. Combine that with his 6 months of sabbatical on two wheels, and you have just the mere outline of the man's cycling game. So when Ray invites you to join him for a ride, interesting things will happen. Stage set for our ride yesterday (January 26). Ullrich and I were instructed to meet at some mailboxes just off Fitzhugh at 10am for 100 miles of easy "endurance-paced" riding. Pre-ride, our big concern was downtime on the bike. With the late start (we are middle-aged Dads, after all), we wanted to preserve some semblance of the weekend. In retrospect, this should not have been in our top-10 list of concerns. Let ME list what we should have been worried about:
1. "Endurance pace" may be the most ill-defined phrase in the English language.
2. Ray took six months off. TO RIDE HIS BIKE.
3. Dan rode 9,000 miles LAST YEAR.
4. Robb races for Tenzing
5. Dean is a track racer. Did you even know that was a thing in Texas?
6. Ray looks like he hasn't had a burger in 10 years. Mostly because he hasn't
7. Ullrich is feeling more like a warring Hun every day
8. Saturday night we enjoyed an impromptu Belgian Beer Fest at the Badger's house
9. Dan had already rode 4 centuries this MONTH
10. Dean weighs about 120lbs.
So we went out hotter than Beyonce' at the Grammys. The pace was ridiculous. I heretofore dub it "Surge and Purge." After the first 1.5 hours, we were at 19.4mph, with Ullrich (and ME) frantically looking for the exit. I would like to say it was just Ullrich that wanted to rip, but that would be untrue. The reality is that I am gone soft, and the surge-fest of the first two hours knocked ME out of the enduro-cocoon.
So when we got back to 962, Ullrich and I begged off the century and headed back up Hamilton Pool. Punishment for the crime of mid-ride AWOL? The switchback at Pedernales. Ugh. Those climbs will make a man regret every Belgian Farmhouse Ale he has ever enjoyed. Ullrich and I spun at our own paces up the grinder, and back to the car. I later heard that in mile 100 or so, Dean erupted in a 1000+Watt sprint. Given the dude weighs about 120lbs, it is feasible that he may have left earth's orbit. While I would have liked to have witnessed that (from the back of the pelo), 80 miles was more than enough for ME.