Rick was there as usual but parental duties required that he limit his participation to signing us in and giving a pep talk prior to our departure.
Dirty Dan dressed in black on a black bike, probably so he would not stand out when he pulled one of his nefarious tricks out on the road (more to come). Check out Andrew's attire for what was admittedly a cool night but leg warmers? Real men do not wear leg warmers in August, regardless of the temperature. Jeff S arrives earlier and earlier as he has found more and more stuff to buy at the farmer's market.
Typical scene during the sign-in process with Axel, Farmer Mike, etc...
Small turnout on this cloudy and cool day during which radar suggested rain was imminent but it always stayed just to our south. Above, Rick stands in the back of the van to address around 50-55 of us about the dangers on the road and each group's responsibilities. He also called out a couple of people who are guilty of dropping below their class (an A cyclist to the B group for example) and then riding at an A pace, destroying the B group, which is supposed to stay together. I give Rick a lot of credit for continuing to identify the problem and if a couple of guys contribute to the problem after Rick's many mentions of it, call them out.
Team Sada attended and other than a band aid, John is fully healed from his crash of two weeks ago. Way in the back, Jon Hastings, who took over Shannon's role as the lead group killer during this evening's ride.
Good number of cyclists in the A group, around 20-22, including Muscle Dude Jr. who just got back from 16 days in France which included climbing Alpe d'Huez the same day as the pro peloton. He had a great time. So, we head out of town into a pretty stiff breeze on one of the more moderately paced A group departures when Jon Hastings streamed from the pack and took off, followed by another followed by Dirty Dan who allowed a sizable gap to develop. Now, no doubt you all think Dan was gassed, his legs screaming, his lungs bursting but I know better, Dan was blocking the peloton just to be mischievous. That guy. Fortunately, the light at 310 intervened and we all came together.
Jon was not finished putting me on the rivet. I survived the dual pulls of Pete C and Ken Buddell then Jon took over for awhile, dropped back a couple of spots and roared again to the front for yet another pull. This time a really vicious effort. I was spewing hydraulic fluid and the needle had broken the gauge when he finally came back and then I did something really dumb; I invited him to take a spot in front of me, thus guaranteeing I'd be done sooner rather than later. Some time later, glancing forward I saw the summit of 161 approach, identified by the cell tower on the left. I was so very happy knowing that the road flattened and then would go down hill and I began celebrating my arrival in Granville. Then Jon took over.
Looking back at York Rd to see if I could regroup with someone (you don't really need me to explain what happened after Jon took over do you) I saw Dan and George behind, caught on with them and we soon arrived in Granville. Now the only game to play was don't get caught by the B+ group and we played the game well with Dan taking the majority of the pulls, George talking the majority of the time and me, shouting encouragement as I drafted. Up Jones Rd, left on Welsh Hills, and back into Granville where we found Mick but lost him in the confusion of the bridge replacement light. Arriving in Alexandria and departing it via Jersey Mill we had to stop three times while emergency vehicles overtook us. Soon the mystery was solved....
I think the young woman had just turned from 310 onto Jersey Mill and it's a real head scratcher but lost control within a couple hundred yards of 310. Rod Budzig, John Day, David Smith and a couple others had first arrived while the car's wheels were still spinning and called 911. Dang, those guys could have been wiped out if not for better timing. We grouped up and arrived back at the parking lot with 43 miles and a 19.8 avg. Meantime, the lead group finished with a 22.5 avg and were long gone when we arrived.
Another magnificent jaunt through the countryside. If you begin with the A group and get dropped, drop back to the B+ group, dropped from that, you get collected by the B group. Those in the B group, don't be self absorbed and fail to pay attention to your fellow cyclists. There could be a whacko out there in a truck with malicious intent toward a lone cyclist. Regroup and stay together as you are the broom wagon. Details of the ride found here:
As I eagerly await the details of Rick's route for tonight's ride, the above image was taken yesterday of a new fire from a lightning strike in the Catalina Mountains, not far from our place in Oro Valley. Pretty spectacular. They are again allowing nature to take its course unless the fire descends toward the city.