Lessons Learnt!

The first hard group effort of the year will always bring some doubts about how the ‘form’ is and what extra work might need to be done. This Saturday was no exception as a group of Tortugans braved the chill to meet up with four riders from the Indy Hand Center squad for a few laps of MMSF that of course meant the climbs of Beanblossom and Hindustan. At days end it was clear that half the Tortuga contingent are right on track whilst the other half might have some work to do!
Tortugans Palmer, Millar, Parry, Saccone and Gaines were confronted with their first test of the year as they reached the imposing ramp of Beanblossom. For myself at least it’s distressing that the first 50meters of the climb can cause ones mood to change from tentative optimism that the legs are good to the unfortunate realization that there is still plenty of work to do!
Gary Palmer and Bob Brooks were showed that their winters have been productively spent as they led the line whilst the slimed down Bruce Millar and gear-mashing junior-phenom Taylor Gaines were climbing with best of the rest.
These roles were continued up Hindustan and BB the second time with Palmer and Gaines flying the Tortuga flag in the vanguard of the group as Saccone and Parry kept an eye on the one Hand Center rider who was keeping them company at the rear!
All in all it was great to roll with some different faces and get in a good 3hrs of quality riding. For those of us lagging at the back at least we now know what needs to be done. Better to find out whilst training instead of when you’ve paid for the privilege of getting dropped like a stone! However, for those riders who rode strongly then there is the quiet satisfaction of knowing that all is on track for a good season ahead.


  1. It sounds like you guys really hit it hard right out of the gate……way to go !! Hopefully I can join in some of the group rides when its not totally balls to the wall…..great article. Maybe the Wednesday night stuff out on 446. And try to hang on every little bit. I have a few things on my schedule this year and will need to join group rides when possible. I just need to know the geography so that when I get dropped…..I can find my way back. Good stuff. Chuck Taylor

  2. I am glad you guys had a good ride but dont see this as lessons learnt. All and all it is only Febuary and this is a time to put in base and not crush one another. Do this ride again in June and see what happens?


  3. Thanks for the write up Geraint. Everyone got quality miles on this ride and the Hand Center guys really appreciated the company of you Tortugans. It may have been the stars in my eyes, but I thought I saw wings sprout from Palmer’s ribs.

    If you aren’t putting in hard efforts now, you’ll be a 2 minutes behind in June rather than only one minute behind now. 😉

  4. Yes good write up Geraint, but I wouldn’t of titled it lessons learnt for you were riding in below freezing weather and the body dosen’t do well at this temp.

    As far as Bob’s comment not all are climbers to begin with and I would hope once you do the ride in Warmer weather you would see better results with those that can climb. I was only stating that it is early and nothing wrong with efforts, but lets be real it was below freezing and not so good for the muscles nor lungs. The climb itself is harder than most and not everyone can zip up that climb in Feburary!!!

    –Tim D.

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