We headed out Jug, left onto Clover Valley, right onto Green Chapel and then down Duncan Plains into Alexandria, skipping a longer loop to stay on the 30 mile route. Early on, we were unsure if we could maintain a 15mph pace to make it back before dark but our average had been steady at 16-17 so it appeared we were in good shape. We were now down to 7 cyclists and heading out Jersey Mill and that long, slightly uphill stretch. Cindy continued to set a brutal pace, trying unsuccessfully to drop everyone. We waited at the top of the climb and while looking back, I noted a large group approach…………SWEET SALVATION!!!!!!!! THE A GROUP!!!!! Like a starving man having a steak waved in front of him, I impulsively jumped in and rode the remaining joyful miles with Dennis, Big Muscle Dude, Mick, Terry, Colnago Dude, et, al. They finished with a 22.5 average, my blended A and C average was 18.6 and the C average was 16.5. Feeling guilty………..
Here is MY ride report….
Thursday night I rode with the COP group for the very first time to fulfill a promise I made to Mark Wilson (my so-called friend of 25 years) at the beginning of the year (my rookie riding year) that I would ride with ‘his’ group some time during the year. And his promise to me was that he would take one for the team on that night and ride WAY back in the C group with me. He even gave me this story about how he did a rugged trail run the day before so that I would not be detrimental to his rigorous workout regimen.
Mark meant well as the ride began. He loudly announced that he would lead the C group. Well, that lasted exactly 16 miles. When the A group passed us, he yelled back at us “find your own way back, you bunch of slowpokes!” and he was gone for good, grabbing the wheel of the unlucky rider that was last to pass. Luckily Cindy was true to HER promise to not drop me and she lead on. For anyone that was near me during the ride, you found out that I like to talk. Our little ‘lead’ C group turned into 6 riders and at least 3 of them at some point or another got close enough to me that I had a conversation and each was quite enjoyable.
Now I have a note for Mark. Have you ever actually read the COP guidelines for rides? C riders are between a 13 and 16 mph pace. So you lead us, but how many times did I look down and find the pace well over 20 mph?!? The others in the C group made comments about how aggressive the C group pace was tonight. I ended the night at 28 miles at 16.76 mph. Thank goodness it was a flat route.
Thanks to all the really nice folks I met tonight. Thank you Cindy for accepting the duties of ride leader after we were unceremoniously dumped. Thank you to those who invited me to The Eagle afterwards (sorry I couldn’t). And Mark, the best I have for you is…..Karma is a B$#@%.