Last Sunday, we had a pretty tight schedule. We needed to be at the golf course before 1pm in order to make our tee time. I wanted to visit my grandmother which meant leaving before 10:30am in order to be back on time. And we both wanted to squeeze in a bike ride.
So we were up and at'em before 7am in order to be on the bikes before 8am in order to be home before 9:30am so I could eat and shower and be out the door by 10:30am.
We did one of our familiar routes which is hilly but not too hilly. It's exactly 28km in distance and takes us through so many orchards and vineyards that we can keep tabs on what fruits are over for the season (cherries), which ones are in full swing (peaches) and which ones are on their way (apples and pears!).
The first half of this route has no turns. We just hunker down and pedal for all we're worth. About halfway down that road, I took the lead for a while and we were going at a nice clip of about 28km/hour. As we approached an intersection, another cyclist was coming up the side street. He saw us and decided to turn before we got there so he was now ahead of us. At first I thought nothing of it. He had a sweet-looking bike and all the right gear so I figured he'd leave us in his dust.
He was going about 30km/hour. Completely respectable of course but I soon found myself on his back tire and needing to brake.
So I passed him.
I passed a cyclist going 30km/hour and had absolutely no problems doing it. I just rode right by, wished him a hello and a good day, with Doug right behind me. We never saw him again.
As a cyclist who can cycle a 40k triathlon ride and get passed by rider after rider without ever passing anyone, I had to say that felt pretty freaking good.
Those early morning bike rides really are paying off. The fact that I felt the need to go fast in order to get home on time for the next phase in our busy day probably helped too.
I guess mon ami Jeff was right. The best way to get better on the bike is to spend more time in the saddle.