Early August and weather for a mid-October ride. 40+ cyclists showed up, including Jamie, once Group Killer, then Group Wounder and now…..maybe Group Lover. Folks, this former tiger has been defanged and who wouldn’t be if they rode once a month or so? Anyway, it was good to see him roll up a minute before the start. Also toeing the start line were 3 Trek/Echelon guys, Mick, Terry, Jon the Dentist, Dennis, Jeff S, Retro George, Greg H and a couple of new guys, including a visitor from Detroit. We rolled out and as usual Jeff had created a great route with a nice mix of hills and flats and thankfully, not that damned downhill stretch on Jersey Mill that almost always causes me to lose contact. I thought I’d have a chance at hanging in there tonight. I noticed a very strong group of B riders including Farmer Mike, Tri Mike, Mark V, Flyin Tuna, SuperDave, Mark Rossi, Peggy, a gal that used to ride with OU and a couple of others. As stated previously, very good turnout.
Kind of slow start but as we emerged from the “S” curve on Jug, Jamie sprang from the pack and hammered, causing everyone to desperately grab a wheel. Fortunately, the turn onto Clover Valley suspended the surge momentarily but the pace picked up on Miller, all the way over to 310. As we turned onto 310 someone shouted, “Car right” and half of us paused while a yahoo on a front porch shouted, “Hit em.” I’ll never figure out what causes such animosity towards cyclists from subhumans. A quick right onto Duncan Plains and still the pace was fairly strong. Across 37 onto Castle then a right onto Concord before stopping at Northridge. Faces appeared strained and I thought about going straight onto Hardscrabble but figured if I was “on the rivet” so too were most of the others and so joined everyone on the long uphill slog on Northridge to Sportsman Club. The group became strung out but Dennis and I worked together to stay close and we regrouped on SC. Topping out at the Louden intersection we roared down that hill, all the way to Racoon Valley Road. I began to notice the pace and hills were taking their toll and after each person surged to start his turn at the front, within a few hundred yards the pace would diminish and so we rolled into Alexandria, out Jug and cruised back into the parking lot with 42 miles and a 22.8mph average, 1300’ of climbing.
Interesting drive home. First I got a call from Belinda, she of the new Trek and plotting her displacement of Tuna on the list of top female cyclists. Belinda, freed from that 50 pound hybrid, is now flying up hills and tonight tackled Blue Jay as part of a group ride. I think she said she was headed out there for multiple repeats this weekend. Damn, I’ve never encountered anyone as driven as her. Shortly thereafter, Tuna called me to make a major announcement (look, she would strangle me for saying this but it is noteworthy and her friends would want to know). Tonight, committed to hanging with the strong B riders, she hung in there all the way and, for the first time ever, cracked the 21mph average!!!!! In fact, exactly 21. Way to go! Prior to the ride, Cindy advised me she and Belinda are plotting their revenge against me. Truthfully, I have instigated so many jabs through this forum (trust me, she gets back verbally all the time) that I deserve whatever they cook up. However, to keep things stirred up I noted that two half-wits make a full wit and I had real reason to be afraid. I immediately asked for terms of a truce but Cindy seemed uninterested. I’m in deep trouble.