Dover MA has some really nice roads. I use to ride them once in a while with some guys from CCB about ten years ago. Yesterday's race was cancelled at the last min without enough notice to where many guys showed up prepared to race and loaded for bear. A couple teams (Met Life & ZipCar) organized a 60 mile ride tracking through Dover, part of it traced the route known regionally as the Tuesday Night Worlds training ride.
This was a unique training opportunity because while lots of group rides can be a blood bath effort, it is rare that Cat 1s will ever taper in any way for them. But that, in essence, is what happened yesterday. I was actually pretty psyched that the morning went down like this.
No one wants their race cancelled but we organized a selective group of 20 guys
(& Mary Zider, Colavta Pro) and ended up having a much more dynamic riding experience than if we raced. There are several reasons for this.
First of all the playing field was even. Group rides always have a big gap in abilities. Secondly, everyone was fresh and mentally honed for a sustained maximum effort. Additionally, a group ride is a safer place to take ridiculous tactical risks extending yourself in ways that would likely kill any hope of a good placing in an actual race. This creates way more animation that forces you to make more decisions than normal, in a race fatigued state, which is different and a good thing to practice.
You think very differently when you're on the rivet and making precise decisions is much harder. In fact I would even go so far as to say that 95% of race crashes happen during those situations where you have to be in the red-zone. Composure in these situations takes practice and a ride like yesterdays offers a unique environment to accelerate this skill
So all in all it was a great opportunity on many levels. The weather was 78 degrees and the roads were calling and we made more than the best of it. If you get lemon's, make lemonade.
Peace and roll strong.