I have lead Hellbent on Hills in Arlington at least once a year for like 5 years now with the PPTC. I haven't been riding with PPTC that much the last year or so, mostly smaller group rides, and races. I lead the ride with Chris who was going to take the BB's. We had around 15 riders at the start which I thought was a big turnout. I have done the ride with just 2 others when it was 30 degrees outside. I was a little disappointed that no one from my DCMTB team showed up.
The Ride has four parts the prologue, the Hills pt.1,interlude,Hills pt.2 end. We started the ride with a leisurely pace as we made our way to N. Arlington. Bruce was already getting antsy and talked breaking from the group. I said once the hills come that should happen on it's own. So we did Military road and saw the DC Route 1 Velo team doing a ride. Did the first hill on Military and then 35th street to the golf course. This is a double hill, were you do one hill then go down and then do a longer grinder hill. This was the separation hill, where it left a group of 5(Bruce,Al,Paul,strong climber guy,myself). We then continued on, and did the next 15 miles of this ride faster then I have ever done it. This is a great ride for winter, but as a ride leader it is tuff, cause I must always ride at the front because there are so many turns that people would not be able to figure it out without me near the front. So this means I end up using allot of energy for the ride.
I had a very strange thing happen to me on the second (bigger)hill of the ride I was in front, went up real fast and strong got out of the saddle and crested the top and sat down to spin it out. What happen was this I was breathing harder and harder, but never got to hyperventilating like I have done in a mountain bike race. Right when I crested the hill and took a deep breathe to relax myself, I got this "twitter" feeling in my chest and had the feeling you have when you get the wind knocked out of you. It was like half as bad as the feeling you have when you get the wind knocked out of you. So after a second it was like my body reset and I was fine, kind of a weird experience, will have to monitor that.
After the hills we did the interlude which is not as many hills, and a trip down to south Arlington to do Walter Reed, and Oxford. Bruce did Walter Reed more at a steady tempo, but beat us all on Oxford where he stayed on top of his gear and was out of the saddle. I ride a compact and spin a good deal, and with this ride I needed it :-).
Finished the ride with the highest avg. for the Hellbent ride was like 16.5 or so when usually it is 14.5-15.5. I know those seem like low numbers but look at the elevation, and realize the amount of turns and stop signs/light there are. Also why it is a good winter ride you don't get the wind chill as much. Might lead it again this winter will have to see.