So I returned to the group ride again with the same thought going around in my head: "Oh boy, I'm gonna get dropped!"
The result was much better than my expectation. I felt much stronger, and I only got dropped once, and that time I was able to bridge back up on my own. My dad was doing TEN sprint intervals! I also happened to lose TWO more waterbottles!!!
Riding with us were Rich, Zack, Chris, Eric, Mr. Lovejoy, Kurt, Mr. Lentz, Mr. Zaccone and a bunch of riders from Two Wheel Tango/AAVC.
At one of the stops, the group went on without Dad and I because we were waiting for Zack and Chris who were doing something. So we just hammered for about ten minutes to get back to the group. We were doing a rotating paceline, and when I saw my wattage hovering around 340, I decided to sit out a few pulls. We caught back on, and the pace was slower, only like 21 MPH. I was talking to Zack about Regional Camp when we hit a bad stretch of road. Then the pace kicked up big time. I was glued to Rich's wheel. The pace was around 25-28, but I was hanging on! After about five minutes of pain, Mr. Zaccone attacked up a hill and I countered him! I got on his wheel and sprinted by him, reaching the top. I looked back and saw that I had a gap on the group, so I slowed. Rich and co. came storming back and the pace resumed at it's high intensity. A nice paceline was going, and I was fourth wheel, right behind Rich. Eventually Rich was at the front. He hammered for maybe two miles and I was suffering like a dog. At that point it was all mental. I just kept saying to myself: "Don't get dropped, don't worry, the pain will be over soon."
Sure enough, I survived.
We averaged 20.94 MPH for 35 miles and most of it was very painful, but the best part of cycling is being able to look back on your performance without any regret.
About 20 minutes after the ride, I finally stopped gasping for air. I hadn't suffered that bad since my 30 minute critical power test.
But it was fun.