I had to work too hard to hang on but we finally arrived in Alexandria with a 22mph average. I anticipated a drop in the pace going through Alexandria but damn, they kept riding hard....I anticipated turning left into the one-way turn onto Raccoon Valley Road while the group went slightly farther before making the official turn but damn....they too broke the law and turned into the one-way turn. My last card to play was drifting back through the peloton, recovering slightly and catching on to the last cyclist, which I did but damn.....gaps started developing and I was done. Dennis too was there and soon we hooked up with Jeff S. I could see ahead that Steve O had dropped back with someone and other gaps appeared. Someone was driving a hard pace up there.
We reached the left onto Hardscrabble and caught up with another dropee and now had a decent working group to...... work behind Jeff, who rode strongly up the hill. He allowed me to take a small pull toward the end but quickly banished me to the rear. At the foot of that long series of ramps and false flats I could see Steve O and Lisa maybe 100 yards ahead but we had no success closing the gap. We finally reached Northridge and continued on to Concorde where I pleaded with Jeff to cut the route short but he insisted on hanging a right onto Castle and following the route. We completed the north loop by making a left on Northridge, a left on Nicols Lane and then back to Concorde and in to Johnstown. Here we caught up with another dropee and our group was five as we rambled down a fairly uneven Caswell. Here, I took advantage of the moderate pace to go to the front and put in another ceremonial pull.
Our average was down to 20mph but now we had a bit of a tail wind and we hit Green Chapel and Clover Valley at a good clip and then turning right on Jug, picked up the pace a little more and rolled into the parking lot with a 21mph average, 36 miles and 1100' of climbing. The parking lot was the usual mix of checking out what time to ride MOC on Sunday (9:00am) with most of us doing the 100 route, helping George figure out what alternative sport he ought to pick up (curling) and finding out where everyone dropped or hammered the helpless.