Dang. The Saturday group ride from in front of the Bicycle Ranch bike shop has become huge since last I checked in April. There were 50+ with others who hopped in during the opening mile. They even have multiple groups now but I rolled out with the A group on a 49 mile route. It is the same route each week, west to Frontage Rd which parallels I-10 then hang a right on Twin Peaks and begin the long slog to the resort at Dove Mt for a regroup, coast down to the Giant gas station for refueling and return to the shop in a circuitous route which includes the rolling Rancho Vistoso loop. A good route.
Of course, unlike Ohio when a couple of pedal strokes gets you out of town on lonely country roads, this route passes through many intersections with stop lights but eventually we reached Frontage where there were 5-6 emergency vehicles stopped with a train. Learned later a guy committed suicide, very sad.
Our train kept rolling and we were doing an easy 27mph when we reached the Twin Peaks turn. I was at the back of a group of 31 and rounding the turn, could see it was over already as multiple gaps had opened at the base of the 9 mile climb. I looked at my fellow droppees and was not happy. I would say the average weight was 200+ combined with an average age of 80. I managed to drop the heavy, octogenarians but made no progress on anyone else other than Michael, with whom I rode on Thursday.
The climb starts at 1% and very gradually increases to 8%. It's a heck of a workout at a good pace. Michael dropped me. Reaching the turn to the Ritz Carlton resort at Dove Mt, I could see the leaders had already regrouped and headed back down. As they passed, I began to count, 1, 2...12,13.....21....25 freakin cyclists. I'd never missed the regroup and then to add to the humiliation, I also missed the refueling regroup at the gas station!!!! they like spend 15 minutes there. I waited for the B group and slotted in with them for the return. A nice bunch, most of whom could be my grandfather. Well, on to hiking and I have a great one to show, tomorrow.