We reached 310 with a 21.3 average and turned onto the long descent on Jersey Mill. Again, three guys got out in front and Poobah crossed the gap and joined up but we absorbed them by the bottom, cruised through Alexandria and made the illegal left turn onto Raccoon Valley Road. I thought this would be the toughest distance with the cross wind but the pace was not too fast so we all stayed together. As we climbed the modest hill toward the left turn on Loudon, Ron's bike slid into a crevice and his bike tilted left. I thought he was doomed for sure so I and another swerved to avoid but Ron righted the bike and avoided hitting the deck. As we turned onto Louden, a trucked approached us from Raccoon Valley but, knowing the group would not pause, I cut in front and avoided having to stop. Unfortunately, Poobah got caught out and we did not see him again. There was a ragged chase to regroup but once we were together, the pace was still not that high and clearly, the hills of Stone Quarry had an influence on those pulling at the front.
We turned left on Stone Quarry and as usual, I was at the back. I headed up the extreme left side and as I gained momentum and began to pass a few, a guy suddenly swerved left to avoid a hole, rode up onto the grassy hillside and then rejoined while I braked and swerved to avoid the obstacle. Then, I and Ron got caught behind a couple of people and by the time we worked our way through this last impediment, we had lost the lead group. Our average at the bottom of the hill was 21.6mph. When we reached the top of the first hill, Rich Lewis and his 200 pounds had gapped the field and rather significantly so with Marty between he and the group of 7-8, then Ron and I and coming up from behind to join us was Mick, Lisa, Gus and Will. We reached Northridge but Mick had dropped off so we were down to 5 but these guys were driving the pace and our average had dropped only .3 by the end of Stone Q. We hung a left on Castle, crossed #37 and headed on Duncan Plains where we swallowed up Jon Sada so we were back to 6. We hung a left on #310 and a right on Miller and still there was no setting up with these guys, geesh.
We finally rolled into the parking lot with 38 miles, 1200' of climbing and a 22.2mph average. Yes, 22.2 and we couldn't sniff the lead group who finished at 23! Looks like the Tom's Trillion Tour is the place to be on Saturday, weather permitting. The start time is a little up in the air with those of us living in the north wanting a 9:00am start since we have a 90 minute drive. More on that tomorrow.