It's Saturday, December 20 and another early morning ride is upon me. For once, I'm early to the meeting place, Downtown Bicycles. Actually, I was late for the originally planned meeting time of 6:30 but early for the adjusted meeting time of 6:45 agreed to when I spoke to Tony that morning and negotiated a later time since I was already running late.
Twenty miles into our ride (just me and Tony this time -- Bill, Carrie and Jerry all had some kind of conflict or, late Friday night), a ZMotion training ride starts to pass us and I see a great opportunity to let Tony demonstrate his riding strength but getting out in front and pulling a bit for this group while I sneak into the middle of the pack so I can draft and go at a much faster speed with much less effort. Tony and I had originally planned on riding 50 miles but now having the drafting benefit and the distraction of being with the group and others that we knew (Gina, Jared, etc.), I suggested that we continue on to this group's turn-around point, the Boynton Beach Inlet. This would give us a round trip distance of 60 miles.
At the turn-around point, the ZMotion group stopped for about a 10 minute break which I was happy to join. Gina was making plans for everybody to go back to the Cove Restaurant in Deerfield Beach for breakfast. That sounded like a great idea to me but task-master Tony wouldn't allow it. So while everyone else went off to breakfast, we kept riding to complete our 60 miler. But it wasn't over yet.
A semi-quick change from cycling shoes to running shoes and we were off for an approx. 4 mile run. Although we dragged along at a real slow pace, it was still great to get another bike to run transition under our belts. And the weather was outstanding for a run along A1A with an awesome view of the calm ocean. And yes, in December here in Florida, we can bike, run, swim and truly enjoy the tropical outdoors while many of those elsewhere around the country are digging out from the latest snow storm --- they even had one in Vegas this week! Ha, ha ---- I love living here!!!! Sorry Wayne (Anchorage, AK).
Quick footnote -- one of the great aspects of getting out on group rides or runs is having the opportunity to meet new people. On this group ride, one of the riders that we met was Gerardo who has completed several Ironman triathlons. Gerardo lives in New Jersey and is originally from Argentina. He travels all over the world to participate and compete in triathlons. When he is vacationing, he will often go to a bike shop, rent a bike, go out for a ride and usually, wind up meeting and riding with a group of locals. Like many of the riders and runners that I meet, Gerardo was most generous in sharing race stories, course descriptions, Ironman experiences and training tips. I also found out that he just recently ran a marathon in NJ and ran a 3:30 to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Congrats to Gerardo!