Today was the first ride in a week with Weazer. She has started twice-weekly strength training at the Y, so I figured that any rides would be pretty light. Then the weather turned hot, sticky and nasty, so we bagged our Tues & Thurs night rides.

Today we got out for her first “Swamp Loop”. This is one of my favorite fast, 20 mile loops. I can ride this route all day long, over and over again, so I was anxious to get her out on this ride. There is one sorta-longish climb at the 8 mile point, some long flat stretches through the middle third, and another sharpish climb at the end.

We headed out and got into a nice little groove. On the first climbing bit, Weazer geared down and popped up out of the saddle a couple of times to get through the steeper parts, then throttled back to crest the hill and collect her payback on the other side. Through the flats in the swamp, she kept an amazingly steady pace. Nice and smooth. Again, on the last bit of climbing, she just popped over the bumps like it were no big thing…

There were a ton of riders out today, and we got passed by many of them. Weazer doesn’t like to get passed by other bikers. She knows that she’s just getting started, but she’s surprising me with her competitiveness. So, on the last bit of the ride, we get passed by a dude on an MTB. I was riding behind her, and as soon as he passed, I saw her shoulders and back tighten up, heard her drop down two gears, and fall into the drops. She chased for a bit, until we got to the next small rise. She knew she couldn’t catch him on the ascent, but she only let him pull ahead by a bit. On the backside, she fell into the drops, picked up some gears and dropped the hammer, and she started reeling in her prey. As we got close, she swung left, tossed out an “on your left” grabbed another gear and pulled away with authority.

A few minutes later, I pull up on Weazer’s left and say “well that was fun”. Weazer’s breathing heavy, but has a huge smile on her face. I say, “You weren’t gonna let that guy pass you without an answer, were you?” And she looks over at me with the wicked smile I love so much and says “Damn straight. He was going down”… On the way back home, she described how she felt as the guy passed her, how she planned her attack, and how she knew how to hammer the specific stretch of road we were on at that point in the ride.

I’ve never felt more proud in my life.