Two steps forward. One step back.

The thought of climbing Altamont didn’t excite me. The only reason I got on my bike and headed toward the mountain was because I was supposed to meet Bob Rentz and we were going to attack the road together. I crested the KOM pretty well the last two times I tried for my personal best, but I just wasn’t feeling it for this attempt.

All day I had felt odd. I felt shaky and my legs were weak. Had I not known Bob was expecting me, I probably would have just done an easy ride in the park. Yet, there we were heading over the mountain for an attempt.

We started off together. At first I thought I would adjust my attempt to match what Bob was doing. However, I changed my mind and decided to let him take his pace and I would do my own. What happened was revealing.

Up until the water tower we were pretty much together. I kept up a faster pace once we got there and put a pretty good sized gap on Bob. However, it was not long after we cleared that section that Bob was back on my wheel. We continued this way for some time and reached the halfway point together in under 5 minutes and 50 seconds.

Not much to say after that. I just was watching Bob’s wheel in front of me. A couple of times I could sense I was losing it, but seeing him right there gave me motivation to keep going.

Two turns from the wall, I just couldn’t maintain the pace. I was turning as hard as I could, but I just wasn’t creating the power to keep up with him. As we turned onto the wall, Bob was about 20 yards in front of me. I saw him shift and stand as he passed the first drive to the right. After that, I was just looking down at my Garmin willing myself to keep pushing.

Way to go, Bob! He got his personal best at 11 minutes 45 seconds. I crossed the line with a respectable 12 minutes 12 seconds time. Honestly, based on how I was feeling going into it, that was pretty good.

So, after two times in a row getting a personal best, I have slipped back a few seconds. I knew that was going to happen. The bottom line is I am very close and the key is just finding the proper pacing up the mountain. The next time out I’m going to slow it down on the water tower section. Hey, it worked for Bob!

Oh, and sorry Bob for talking your ear off!

Hincapie Watch:

A couple of neat things from the world of Hincapie. The new georgehincapie.com launched officially yesterday. It is going to be pretty cool. George will be interviewed by velonews.com during the Tour de France and the video can be found on his site (and velonews.com). The data from George’s cycling computer will also be displayed on the site. You’ll be able to see what a pro goes through while completing the stages. I’ve also enjoyed the iPhone photos that get uploaded on occasion.

It was also announced yesterday that George will be participating in the Olympics. It will be his fifth! Talk about longevity. If I’m not mistaken, he is the American with the most Tour starts as well.