A beautiful morning after a nice rain yesterday here in Portland. A little cloudy, a little cool, but no rain and dry streets. With nothing to do this morning I headed out for a short ride.
When I have 2 hours or less I like to do some variation of a loop that involves riding west toward Hillsboro and then slightly north and then back east until I climb up to Skyline. Today's road to the top was done via Old Germantown road--a stellar road for riding by the way.
Today was my first road ride with the Garmin heart rate chest strap. I decided to see if I could keep my average down below 150. I was doing just fine until I started climbing up Old Germantown. With my heart rate pegged between 172 and 180 beats per minute as I rolled up with as brisk a pace as I could muster, my average climbed above 150 to 152 when I hit Skyline. Skyline as its fair share of oscillations, but nothing too bad. I was trying to get my average back down to below 150 and so I was riding at a leisurely 130 to 140 bpm. No big deal.
I had my earbuds in, listening to Placebo when 50+ guy riding a Campy Record equipped Parlee catches me from behind. He said hello and we chatted for a bit. He asked where I had been riding and so forth. I said that I had recently come up from Old Germantown and was trying to get to my average heart for the ride back down, so just taking it easy for a mile or two. He says goodbye and I expect him to pull away from me. But he doesn't. Not really anyway. A hill comes up and I actually start to catch him a bit.
I don't really want to come off as an competitive jerk who suddenly speeds up when caught from behind on a casual ride. I mean I could pass this guy pretty easy at this point. But should I? Should I be that guy? I mean I only have about 4 or 5 miles left by this point until I get home and probably only about 2 more on the same road as Old Man on a Parlee. Surely, I can just sit back and play my heart rate zone game and chill.
Can't do it. Old Man on a Parlee is just too tempting while he remains just about 30 to 50 yards in front of me. I had to throw down and pass him. I mean if he had been going at a good clip that is one thing. But my normal pace was faster than his present pace so I had to do it right? Well, I thought so anyway.
I may have appeared to be a jerk to him, but I just couldn't sit behind his wheel looking at that blasted $10,000 bike when he was poking along. It is like he slowed down after passing me. What is up with that. Was he toasted from trying to catch me?
I attached a snip of my Garmin's output from the ride. Blue arrow is about where he caught me. Green arrow is where I got sick of see him in front of me and did something about it. Notice that my heart rate went up to nearly 180 bpm even though I was on semi-flat roads? Yeah, that is because I didn't want to get caught from behind by him after I attacked and passed. That would have been totally embarrassing. I waited until there was a bit of an incline on the road and then I attacked Old Man on a Parlee and passed him as fast as I could. I didn't do this to be a jerk. I just didn't want to be embarrassed if he caught me again if he decided to counter my attack. I laid the hammer down and made sure that there was no way he could catch me unless he was much more fit than he appeared. I looked back after a mile or so and couldn't see him. Whew. No more embarrassment.
So I learned that I am not secure enough to let rider pass me when I am trying to zone train. I just can't let any ol' schmo pass me just so that I can stay in zone 2 or 3. My pride is too great. I don't even know why it matters, but it does.