Kevin H drove up from the south country to join Tuna, SuperDave, Mark V, Mark R, Gary and many others in a quality B field. A large A group was comprised of everyone I have come to expect to be there including John Morgan, Marty, Dave C, Paul Stock, John G, Dennis, Jon the Dentist, Tim T & Lisa, Gus, Terry making his 1st appearance, couple of Trek HVC guys and on and on. Probably 23-25 as the scrum left the parking lot. We headed out old #161 at a fairly high pace and upon reaching #310, our avg was 23.8. We plunged down Jersey Mill into Alexandria and made the left on Raccoon Valley Rd. This road has slowly deteriorated and so I was glad the pace was not too high to better watch the pavement for the holes and cuts. Unfortunately, I was at the back and as we approached the left onto Louden, I thought I'd get caught out but made a nifty cut to the inside at the turn and cut around a few to hold the main body.
Our number had been reduced a little but it appeared everyone in this group was legit. For me, it was a chance to see if I've made much progress coming back from the the Black Plague/Red Death flu that had lingered for close to 2 weeks. That SUCKED. Well, some incremental progress has been made because as we flew out Louden, I was still there but rounding the corner at the Stone Quarry turn, I was damn glad we didn't turn there. We continued on Louden through the numerous hills up to the stop at Sportsman Club. Dennis and I had been telling each other we were pretty much done and by the time the group paused at the stop sign, he had fallen back. For a nanosecond, I considered waiting for him but it's a dog eat dog world out there so I'm ashamed to admit I decided to throw in my lot with the group. Except, when we hit the ramp after Sportsman Club, my legs were suddenly dead. At mile 19, I checked out with a 22.4 avg and then spent the next 24 miles riding completely alone. No one came up from the rear. My buddy Dennis, now you see him now you don't, took the short cut. The B group must have taken the shorter route. Anyway, finally coasted into the parking lot with 42+ miles, 20.8 avg and 1200' of climbing. The front A group finishers had an average in excess of 23 but they were long gone.