Under certain circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour or so dedicated to the ceremony known as pre group ride. We discuss the weather, the route, why we feel weak, where is the weekend ride, how wild will be Poobah's ride outfit, how thorough will be the beat down administered by Da Boss, who's going to the post ride food stop, why does Mark C look so emaciated, why did some dude show up with an aero helmet...the camaraderie is a lot of fun.
While the temperature was 55 degrees, it felt more like mid 40s with the stubborn wind whipping through the parking lot just under 20mph. Still, the turnout was reasonable at 40 +/- for a 38 mile route with lots of climbing. Most of us wore long sleeved jerseys under a regular jersey, tights, full finger gloves and yet it still felt much colder than it was. Prior to the ride, Steve O was in search of TUMS, apparently feeling the effects of drinking chocolate mile earlier in the day.
Dennis and I hung back with the B group while a smallish A group took off. Our group was fairly large with a broad range of strengths. Unfortunately, there were several B imposters and the pace ramped up quickly, out Waterloo and then Slough. Reaching the base of Slough, I was at the front with 3 guys who I did not know but later learned one was Ted Minsky (spl?). I had not ridden with him in a long time and was not sure who it was (has he lost a lot of weight or something?). Anyway, he got me at the top of Slough and we coasted down hill and there was some regrouping as we reached Winchester road and headed east. On this stretch, someone took an unusually long pull before turning onto Kaufman. Ted eventually went to the front and maintained a strong pace up the long hill with me hanging on only because of the draft. At some point, we added two and our group of four made a wrong turn left (off Lamb maybe) instead of right. We crossed the covered bridge but I was in front and missed the turn onto the bridge, turned around and the other 3 were gone. Bummer. But wait...there was Poobah...and so he and I rode up Rock Mill to Royalton where we found Dennis. Our plan was to jump in with the A group when they came west on Royalton...but wait...there came Roy, Ross and another guy and Dennis and I made a split decision to join them.
Roy was wearing a long sleeve jersey that at one time when he was 14, probably would have fit him. Instead, this jersey hung half way down his back and his alabaster white skin shown brightly. Every time he pulled the jersey down, it immediately sprang back up. Eventually it occurred to me I had not seen skin that white since Nicole Kidman's porcelain white. Anyway, we grimly headed north into the wind of which we are oh so tired. I was shivering on the way back and then relieved to reach the warmth of the car. Sorry, forgot my camera so no images this time. Only 32 miles.