My natural tendency is to get into the big ring and power up short little hills. This minimizes the pain and time required to push the FatGuy up elevation. But to prepare for long distances, I am focusing on gearing down, using the little ring, and just spinning up hills.
With this in mind, I was poking along on my commute home when I got in a little bunny hopping action with three guys along Bridgeway. I would pass them in the flats and they would catch me on a rise. Then I would pass them on a downhill or the flats and repeat. I committed to myself that I would let them go passed me for good on Camino Alto, northbound. As I made the turn onto Camino Alto, ahead of the other three guys by a few hundred yards, Digital Underground took over my headphones.
I was groovin' to 'Humpty Dance', spinning in my smallest gear. Having forgotten about the guys behind me, I started singing out loud, another technique I use to calm down my pedaling, keep a steady pace, and not push too hard that I start panting. At the perfectly opportune time, I was feelin' the beat and busted at the top of my lungs the lyric "I once got busy in a Burger King bathroom, I'm crazy" ... just as the guys were passing me on my left. The lead guy did all he could to stop from laughing, but I managed to get a chuckle as they rode past.
Having provided my comic relief for the day, I continued on my merry way up and down Camino Alto. Reaching the bottom, I caught up with the crew of three. I got a triple thumbs up as I passed them for the last time.