I got to ride the Alto Velo B ride this weekend. Living in SF it's hard to make it down for this (and I have to take Caltrain at 8 AM to Cal Ave and cut the ride off at Page Mill just to make it), but it's a great ride.
This weekend was Kings Mountain via Greer. Greer is a tougher substitute for the first third of Kings, but without cars so it's pretty nice. I struggled through this section trying to keep any of my colleagues in view. As we made the turn onto Kings I got a little wind in my legs and soldiered on. I rode past one rider who quickly slotted in behind me.
Now, at this pace I think it's less "Drafting" than just letting someone else set a pace so you don't go too slow or don't race out too fast, but whatever. I found a good rhythm that left me feeling I might just crack at any moment but knew that I probably wouldn't. That's a good intensity climb. My friend stuck close to my wheel when I sped up, and when I slowed down he refused to pass. Amusing. As we hit the steepest section with just under a mile to go I utilized the compact crank on my Ritchey (the Seven still being MIA) to try to stretch it out a bit. But lo and behold as we got to 20 yards from the top, he decided to race to the line and went by me. Cheeky!
So eventually we end up at Roberts. He sees me and the following conversation ensues.
"So you're the guy who pulled me all the way up Kings" (and I nipped you at the line)
"Yeah, well, I was about 5 seconds from falling apart the whole way up" (thanks for not coming around and taking a turn)
"Me too, I thought about pulling but I was in the same boat, you almost dropped me near the end" (what do you think, I'm stupid? If I pull you drop me. I'm the king of all wheelsuckers.)
"I'm paying for it now, not enough riding" (I'm out of shape but will now train hard for 2 weeks, come back, and drop you like a wicked stepsister).
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