Written by Vince Jones Wednesday, 05 October 2016 00:00
The 2016 Peach Pedal in Weatherford Texas was my third event of the year on the North Texas tee shirt circuit and a major stepping stone towards my goal of competing in the Hotter than Hell Hundred event later this summer. I have ridden in the Peach Pedal many times now and the organizers always do a fantastic job. This event is a big fund raiser for many non-profits working with the Parker County United Way. This years event attracted about 2000 riders for all of the different routes. I chose to ride the 61 mile route this year.
I have recently increased the length of my training rides in hopes of being stronger later in the rides and trying to avoid cramps. I was riding with my friend Guy on this ride and we started close to the front of the group, We were able to stay together and with the group until just before the second rest stop. There were a series of small hills that did a good job of separating the crowd. I was able to stay with one of the lead groups but Guy fell back a bit. We met up again at the third rest stop for a few minutes but Guy was not feeling it this day and did not want to hold me up. We rode together for another short distance but when we hit the long climb next to I-20 we lost contact again.
I was able to pass a lot of folks on this climb but near the top i began to lose steam. Another rider went around me with a radio playing and I locked onto his wheel and let him drag me to the top of the hill. As we crossed the freeway I regained my strength and was able to help the other rider for awhile. There was a group of 8 riders about half a mile in front of us with a few solos between us and them. I set a goal to do my best to catch the group. We closed the gap and picked up all the solo riders but we did not catch the group until they stopped at the next rest stop. I stopped to top off the bottles along with the group in hopes of riding with that strong group. Unfortunately, that group just stayed at the rest stop. I did not want to spend all day waiting for them so I took off.
Not far up the road I ran into the rider I had been with before the rest stop and we rode together again. I was really feeling strong at this time so we were able to gather up some of the riders that had gone up the road in front of us and create a nice group. For the most part his group stuck together until the last rest stop when they all stopped and I kept going. I finished the 61 miles at an average of 19.8 mph. That is not the speed I need but if is two MPH faster than my last event so I am moving in the right direction.
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