The 10am ride is hard.
The 10am ride is hard if;
1. You have lost your summer form and you are day 1 in the reconstruction process.
2. You really don't like hills anyway.
3. You don't really know the route.
4. Your teammate demonstrates - on you - what he meant be "turning the screw".
I took another three days off (after taking a total of three weeks off over the last two months), and today I thought I would start getting my winter base by doing the 10am. I have only done the 10am once, about a year ago, and I got dropped real early and turned around and went home. That being the case, I did not know the route or those terrible little hills.
Early on I found myself off the front with Russ "the Muscle", and we were flying. At one point though, I found myself staring at Russ's back wheel as we churned up this gradual grade. I was maxed. Then he turned and looked at me to pull through. 'Are you kidding me!', I thought. I signaled to sit on for another minute with my index (I know, wrong finger), he turned, upped the tempo and cracked me. Well, it's been a while since someone broke me off like that, and I know 'it's only November" and all but damn. Damn!
So, now I am in the second group on the road chasing Russ. I actually wasn't chasing because I was pretty tore up from the effort to stay on his wheel. I sat at the back of four guy, including my teammate Jose, just recovering. Once I did recover I started pulling through, and eventually jumped back across to Russ.
When I got across to him, I rested then pulled through. Then we got to another rise and he proceeded to ride me off of his wheel again! I was so cracked this time I barely made it to the back of Jose's group. In fact, I was pretty much done the rest of the ride, even after we caught him.
After the sprint, which never materialized and had a 70 year old man practically dive out of the way because some rider did not have his head up, my the Muscle told me he was hurting like hell too but felt it necessary to demonstrate "turning the screw" as he had explained earlier.
Russ will contribute to my article "How to not Attack like a Wussy", with his own section called "Turning the Screw". Thanks for the demonstration. Late.