The Bus Stop is an adult entertainment establishment on the north side of Boulder. I like to frequent this location on Tuesday or Thursday nights, mostly because of the excellent group ride that leaves there at 5 PM. This ride is a race pace 1:30-2 hours of rolling hills that is frequented by local pros, visiting Pro Tour riders and all the local fast guys/gals.
This time of year we see a lot of out of town pros showing up getting ready for the Tour of California. Last year Greg Henderson from Sky and Baken Cooke graced our presence.
If you have been following my reports recently, it is clear I have been suffering a bit this season. Especially recently and I was getting pretty bummed out about my performance at some of my favorite races. I have had glimpses of good rides here and there, but no consistency. So I was happy to finally have a good ride at the Bus Stop. (That could sound really bad out of context.)
The ride started out OK and I felt like it was way too easy. Which is usually a good sign, but with my legs being so sore and tired lately I had a hard time believing we were out for something more than a chill ride. As we went into Lyons and up Apple Valley I kept finding myself on the front of the group taking pulls at 80% and finding out that the field was strung out behind me. Huh, odd. We regrouped on the descent into Lyons and hit Old St. Vrain pretty calm. A group attacked up the road that included the most likely candidates, including Timmy Duggan of Liquigas and a host of super strong riders. The group of 6 worked well together and began to blow us away. So a Mix 1 rider decided to try to bridge up and I decided to go with him. 60 seconds later we had bridged up to a power house break and I only had to go 90%. OK, this is what it is supposed to feel like. We then worked together and opened up a HUGE gap. So big that we waited a full revolution at a light about 5 minutes later and still didn’t even see the group.
This is a good reminder that cycling can be finicky. We have all seen it. Even guys like Cancellara, Boonen, and Gilbert have had huge swings in performance due to unknown or small issues. Keeping the faith is important and not losing that confidence. I needed this ride to give me a sense that my fitness is not totally gone and there is hope. This was confirmed by a 6th place finish in last night’s race. So maybe I am getting there, finally.