We rolled out to Lithopolis, then out Elder. Even riding in the breeze did nothing to moderate the heat. It was hot at rest, hot when pedaling and hot when coasting. We cruised out Winchester and for the most part, Dennis soft-pedaled and kept everyone together. We made a left on Royalton, jogged over to Winter before making a right on Cedar Hill. While a few rollers cut the group up a bit, we still had 6-8 people and Dennis still took pity on us. We turned onto Westfall and we're greeted by a layer of tar but by staying on the road edge for a hundred yards, we got around it and arrived at Amanda Northern Road. Here it was noted that Amanda had fallen off the pace. I wanted to pause for her but Recumbent Dude said, "Make her work for it." and so on we went, eventually making it to Salem Church. On this route, Recumbent Dude was king and we frantically worked to stay on his wheel. It became known as taking a pull behind Nathan if you were in the #2 spot and when he rotated off the front, the #2 person was rewarded with another pull. By the time we reached Salem Church, we were down to Dennis, me, RD and one other person who was always drafting but given my reputation, how could I object?
Now, in the mean time and slightly ahead of us, there was a little action in the A group. They too had taken an easier pace, reaching Amanda Northern where they turned south to go into Amanda for drinks. From there they went out Sand Hill and then Rock Mill. So far, as is usual, the Walker guys had tried to agitate a little in the first half of the ride only to then disappear on their own route. After the Amanda stop, roughly at Westfall, Da Boss suddenly took off on the climb, leaving Nate (in NU jersey), Claude and Steve O to ride in a small group and who knows what happened to everyone else. Our group caught one cast-off but he was unable to hang with Nathan's tire burning pace, as few could who are not ultrasuperamazingly fit. The front A group finished with a 21.2mph average.
We reached the parking lot with 37 miles and a 20mph average. I must say, Nathan has gone to getting dropped just after the warm up phase on his upright to now dominating the A-/B+ group. It's maddening to catch and drop him on anything exceeding a 1% grade and then watch him scream around on anything flat or slightly down hill. As I constantly drafted behind RD or Dennis it left me time to ponder these issues, which I observed during the ride:
1. Taking a pull while crouched in aero bars. Back in the day, it was considered bad form to take a pull while in the tuck position using aero bars. The thinking was this denied the opportunity for the person behind to draft, just before that person was expected to take a turn at the front.
2. Tucked into the aero position while in the middle of the group. Also back in the day, this too was frowned upon because the person using the aero bars was more unstable and not able to react as fast to an unplanned stop.
Do these unwritten rules still apply or a relic of the past?