Ironman Florida is about 5 weeks away. This was my recovery and performance assessment week designed to kick off my last 3-week block of high volume training and preparation for the race.  Instead of the typical 5-6 hr Saturday ride, I had a 1h 30min ride on my schedule. 

My cycling volume has been so high the past 3-4 months that 1hr feels like a letdown. It now takes 20 minutes for my body to feel warmed up. The B-Group also likes to ride at least 40 miles, so 1h30 would have been unacceptable and I would have been left to ride solo.

So, I planned a 40-50 mile ride which should take 2h30min to 3 hours to complete.

Nine other riders met at the parking lot! The first big group ride of the year. I knew or had met everyone, but hadn’t been on a ride with everyone. In addition, I’m not a fan of large cycling groups (or large groups for anything), and felt uncomfortable for the first hour or so so I stayed in the rear of the pack.

After about an hour, I decided to ride to the front and pull the pack harder. That is the danger of group rides…I tend to want to push hard and see what the others are made of. My ego can get out of hand and I do things that I shouldn’t.  Today, I did exactly that. And had a great time. Everyone else enjoyed themselves too.

After returning to the parking lot, we grabbed lunch and drove to the bike shop. We were going to ride with many, many local cyclists to Orr Castillo’s funeral. From the funeral home, we would lead the procession, with a police escort to his family’s church.