Sunday, November 15, 2009

Team Belladium Ride

A fantastic group of strong riders!
Lee, Vicki, Parri, Todd, Lisa C, and Shannon
Missing: Anna, Cali, David, Jeremy, Jonell, Katie, Lisa S, Lynn, Robert, and Valerie

Team Belladium’s ride did not disappoint today. The crowd of all strong riders gathered, Lisa took some pictures, Todd said ride endurance pace and be careful (oh, and don’t forget the sprint within the first couple miles), and we all hit the road. The company was fabulous: Strong and talented. The weather was perfect: Warm and sunny. The route was enjoyable: Hilly and beautiful.

We did the same route as last week, arriving back at Lisa’s in exactly 2 hours. Because the first sprint is so close to the start, we had to come up with a strategy early. It didn’t take long for Lisa to lead, with Lisa C, Cali, Parri, and I behind her; she strung out the group pretty quickly! Our goal was to beat Todd, and she caught him talking and he was too far behind to make up the ground. The plan was for me to be right behind Parri and then take it at the end. Lisa, Lisa, Cali, and Parri did such a great job and I got anxious; Katie was right behind me and I didn’t know anything about her. I didn’t even give Parri a chance to stand up and take me a little farther before I went around her. Unfortunately Katie was right on my wheel, came around, and passed me for the win. If only I would have let Parri lead for another minute! Or if I would have been on the hoods; I don’t know why, but I was in the drops and didn’t want to move my hands up; I stole a glace at Katie, who had her hands on the hoods, and knew that’s where mine should have been.

We slowed some after that and continued through Eastern Williamson County. This route is not lacking in hills, but neither is it lacking in amazing landscape. From the top of one hill after the Ag center you can look out over a beautiful green valley and see the multicolored trees. Creation continually expresses God’s glory and creativity, and I never tire of it.

After a quick re-grouping at an abandoned gas station, we headed back to town. The sprint sign comes shortly after our last turn onto Wilson Pike, and I’d been hoping that the others had forgotten. Then I heard someone (I don’t know who) say, “I feel like ya’ll are about to speed up again. Isn’t there another sprint around here somewhere?” Everyone was aware then, so we tried a similar tactic. Todd has such a good sprint and just blew past us, but then Katie and I went at it again. I had my hands right, let her lead for a little, and then went around her, beating her by about as much as she beat me by in the earlier sprint. It was so much fun having a great, FAST lead out train both times and great competition for the sprint!

Neither of my computers was working, but I do know that it was 2 hours. The map says it was about 35.5 miles. Lisa passed along our average speed, which was 17.81 mph (not too shabby considering all the hills!), and her max watts (562 while leading the sprint); I think she said her average was around 155 (last week it was about 175, which is not endurance pace). I thought we rode faster this week because we had more people, but it looks like we (or at least Lisa) didn't ride as hard up all the hills on Long Lane!

I decided to try something new from the grocery store this week. Last week the Farkases raved about pomegranates, I happened past them in the produce, so I got one. Fortunately they came with instructions or I would have been lost!

  1. Cut off the top about half an inch below the crown.

  2. Score the sides wherever the sections (4 or 6) are obvious on the top.

  3. Open the fruit by pulling apart the scored sections.

  4. Loosen the arils (seeds) into a large bowl of water.

  5. Scoop the fleshy part floating on top of the water out of the bowl.

  6. Strain the water from the arils.

  7. Serve and enjoy!

They tasted great on a little spinach salad, and I have plenty more for the week.

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