39.64 Miles 05/08/11 - First group ride of the year

Wow.  What a difference the new stem has made!  I mentioned it a few posts ago and it finally came in and was put on last week.  I went from a 110mm to a 90mm, binging the handlebars closer to me.  This helps with breathing and has alleviated the sore neck/shoulders/upper back.  A wise $35 upgrade.

As for the ride, it was my first out with the club this year.  Most of the people who showed up were the ones that are much quicker than me.  I figured I'd hang on as long as possible and then get dropped.  No biggie.  Thankfully there was a tailwind at the start.  I kept in the pack for quite a while.  I know a few of these guys could have blown me away at any time.  Maybe they were taking it easy that day :).  Anyway, I hung on for 32 of the 40 miles before I just semi-bonked.  The 10 miles leading up to that were directly into the wind and once I was off the paceline it was like hitting a brick wall and there was no hope of catching back up.  I checked the map on the new Garmin for a route back to the truck and set off.  A couple nice rollers on one of the streets.  Oh yeah, the trip down Cemetary Hill was faster thanks to the new big ring I had put on at the same time as the stem.  Went from a 46T to a 50T, resulting in a higher possible top speed.  Hit 34.6.  Can't wait for a nice steep (yet straight) downhill :). My average speed for the ride was 17.0 mph

All in all a good day.  I was very happy to get back with the club. Pacelines are very mentally calming, oddly enough.