Mark and the boys introduced the new guy (me) to L5 intervals up the backside of Swanton this morning (not as kinky as it sounds). Not quite a hazing, as everybody had to do it, but an initiation of sorts. I am slowly adjusting to the painful reality that all these guys are stronger than me (for now), and I had better get used to letting them go by me without trying to grab a wheel during these interval sessions, because otherwise I do the first sets way too hard and end up having to claw and weave my way up the hill for the last puke-inducing sets.
After the last interval, I feigned a mechanical issue at the top of the hill, causing Jim "Strong Like Bull" Langley to jump into mechanic mode while I had a chance to rest and catch my breath. The ride down Swanton back to Hwy 1 was spirited...Mark pulling us along like he was in Swanton TT mode, followed by attack/counter attack and counter to the counter in the final hilly miles. Mark made the last jump, and it looked like Scott almost had his wheel, but of course it was Mark first out to Hwy 1.
From there, a reinvigorated Jim, perhaps chuffed that his personally engraved mini-tool had saved the day when he tightened up my headset earlier in the ride, or perhaps tempted by the aroma of his wife's famous apple cobbler wafting in the chilly air, chose to set a blistering pace down Hwy 1, such that I was drooling all over my newly-tightened stem the entire way back just trying to hold his wheel.
A run at setting up Dennis for the town line sprint put the finishing touches on an excellent training ride. They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger...but I am wondering if it is a good sign that I can barely walk in a straight line this afternoon? Just show me to the couch.