The Bud's Ride: No Useful Draft...

It seemed like it took longer for gobs of riders to drop off the back of the bunch last night. The pace seemed a bit more manageable for everyone the first time up along the golf course, and then up and over the hump in Bonelli. Zoom down, and over the park-side rollers, then for some reason a goodly number of folks turned off at the shortcut across the dam. Only a couple guys decided to wait at the top of the first rise on Puddingstone, everyone else kept pedaling, knowing that the pack would sniff up their rear wheels soon enough. And they did, sooner that I expected; shift up, boom, boom, boom, maybe three times to get up to the speed of the rapidly passing train. Unlike two weeks ago, I just could not accelerate with the same ease this time, and anyway gaps were opening, people falling away, while those up front pushed on.

There was a time when I would purposely ride at the back during some training rides, reasoning that, other than riding on the front the entire time, doing so provided the best workout - closing all those gaps that would ultimately open. I need to rethink that strategy these days, and this time, there was no way I was going to regain the group. Neither would any of the others being dropped; some of us got together over the next lap, but it wasn't working. Plenty of every man for himself, and not enough cooperation for the common good going on. My shadow was willing to work with me though; he was always there setting pace. Dude provides no useful draft though.