Mineral, VA to Charlottesville, VA
If you're not familiar with cycling terminology, here's a brief crash course via Wikipedia. Drafting- a technique where two moving objects are caused to align in a close group reducing the overall effect of drag due to exploiting the lead objects slipstream. Slipstream- A region behind a moving object in which a wake (air) is moving at velocities comparable to the moving object, relative to the ambient fluid (air) through which the object is moving. In practice the lead cyclist is breaking a path through the air while the air is whipping around and pulling the following cyclist along. In ideal circumstances this can reduce the energy required by the following cyclist by 40%.
The five of us, Becky, myself, Allen, and our two new westbound friends Eric and Lauren leave camp together at 7 am. 56 miles into Charlottesville is our goal today. Becky and I pull up the rear as the other three power down the road. It's only day four and we are brand-new at long distance tour cycling. I have faith that our bodies will adapt and ultimately flourish at this new challenge... but not today.
Today on day four, all past lessons have been forgotten. I tried to stay with her, and would have pulled her along all day. However, Becky was on Becky time. When I'd slow to what felt like an excruciatingly slow pace, she'd align behind my slipstream, only to fall behind again complaining she'd used all her energy to catch me and didn't have anything left to stay with me. All I saw was wasted energy. Both of us breaking trail and no one conserving energy. It's not a race, we had all day to enjoy this journey, so in the end I sat back and enjoyed the ride... At Becky's pace.
Average pace: 10.5 mph