A Personal Victory

There are two major Saturday Morning Rides (SMR) in the Portland area. One is the Portland Velo Club (PVC) ride, which I did  last week and didn’t fair well. Today was a chance to try the other – the Southern Maine Cycling Club (SMCC) ride. It’s not as fast and they usually work a rolling paceline, which doesn’t happen on the other (Portland Velo Club) ride. They are both good rides, just a different approach so it’s good to mix it up a bit.

I was the only woman there when my friend, Tracey showed up. I was shocked! 1.) I didn’t think it would be her cup of tea, having said earlier in the week she prefers to enjoy her ride and not survive it, 2.) she’s not much of a morning person, and 3.) she doesn’t care to ride much in the cold, gray, damp like it was this morning. (Sorry T! I know she reads my blog and hope she doesn’t mind.)

At any rate it was good to see her there. We were the only girls on the ride, something we’re used to from some other group rides with CCCP. I was pleasantly surprised at the welcoming atmosphere on this ride. Many of the guys were very nice and supportive of our participation.

Tracey and I had a plan: if we got dropped we’d just work hard together and make the most out of the ride.

I was nervous about this one early hill on Anthoine Street. I considered catching the ride at the top of it but decided if I couldn’t hang on this week then that would be my plan the next time around.

As it turned out, I didn’t get dropped on the climb. I managed to hang on quite nicely. That was a HUGE victory for me! However, I did manage to get dropped further down the road. I was in the back and I know that’s not the best place to be.  I managed a gap between me and the guy in front and that was all she wrote. Next time I’ll try to get further with the group before being dropped!

So I stopped to wait for Tracey. I hoped she hadn’t abandoned and sure enough she was coming along. So we rode together as hard as we could and picked up another rider who had been dropped. He was going to head home and we yelled to him to hop on, which he did. It proved beneficial because it was another rider to help share the workload.

We decided not to ride the couple miles down to Prout’s Neck and turned on Rte 77 instead, assuming the group would catch us eventually and we’d hope back on.

Further up the road we spotted another rider from the group. I wondered if we had been too slow to miss the group on the way back up and perhaps he had been dropped from them. As it turned out, he had turned down Rte 77, too, and didn’t ride down the Neck. With the addition of the 4th rider we all worked well together and stayed in front of the group to the regroup spot. However, we weren’t there long before they arrived.

It was a really great ride. It reminded me of the times when Tracey and I used to ride really hard, something we haven’t done together in a really long time. I hope she’ll be there for other SMRs.

I heard from a friend that the PVC ride this week was very fast and only one woman had shown up. I suspected it was my teammate, Meg, and confirmed later in the day it was.

Tomorrow is my first race. It’s more of a training race but it still requires a race license and you have to pay to play. My goal is to just stay in the pack and not get dropped. If I can hold on through the initial surges until I can settle in, I hope to be fine. Fingers crossed!


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