I was about to head out on a bike ride on Sunday when what did I spy but a cycling club riding past my house up the hill. I took this to be a direct challenge and I quickly finished getting my ipod hooked up and my helmet on, and my bike out of the garage and set off chasing them.
I was at least 30 seconds behind, probably more. But the race was on! I pedaled as hard as I could, at a pace I knew I could keep and flew up my road. They were in sight when I rounded the corner, but they were pretty far off. It was a group of about twelve cyclists I think and riding in a pack is much easier than riding on your own. I had my work cut out for me if I was going to catch up. So I gritted my teeth and went harder.
At the end of my road, 4.5k later, I was only about 20 seconds behind and I knew I could reel them in by then. I think they upped their pace a little though knowing they were being chased by someone not in their club.
We crossed over the 8th line of Smith and were headed for Selwyn road. I figured that we would be turning different directions at this point and so now I had a finish line. There are two massive hills toward the end of this road and I figured that this would be where I could catch up if I had a chance of doing so.
I pounded my way up the first hill, the last of the group of cyclists were only a few meters ahead of me at this point, I crested the hill maybe 5 seconds behind them. Coming down I cranked the bike into its highest gear and pushed, I was going nearly 60km/h! On the next hill I passed two of the club and charging down the opposite side I caught up with the leaders of the pack.
They stopped at the stop sign to wait for their club mates and I whizzed by and turned left. They went right.
It was awesome to reel in a whole group of cyclists that were taking turns at the lead so that they could draft behind one another and such. They might not have been ‘racing’ me, but they had enough advantages that it didn’t matter.
It too me about 17 minutes and change to cover the 9k or so to catch them up. Now, my groin muscles are killing me.
It was totally worth it!