Behold. The ordinary ball boy or ball girl. Dressed like the major league stars but she is not about to leap against the wall and snag a long drive, not going to back up the 3rd baseman, etc... All he or she does is toss a ball now and then to an adorable kid while wearing the same uniform as the team but not really part of the team. That is analogous to what I was today.
We gathered, Kyle, Jon Morgan, Luke Russell, Marty, French Climbing Machine, Travis, Danny A, Buzz, Dave Chesrown, etc... Amongst this team of all stars, I was but the ball boy, wearing similar clothing but mostly along to chase the routine foul ball. Some talk prior to the ride about Jon's record sprint to claim the coveted KOM Strava crown on the run-in to New Albany, Thursday. His effort of 52 seconds put several into 2nd place but there were some extenuating circumstances. The winds, strong, were unusually out of the east so the race referee has been asked to make a ruling. Strava will always, of course, show Jon in 1st but Strava would also show someone in 1st who grabbed a ride behind a Mach truck and surpassed the previous record of 53 seconds. Anyway, we rolled out....
.....into a 10-15 mile headwind again out of the east. The pace was promoted as between 20-22 and so it was, into that nasty head wind. I was on the rivet from the moment I got out of my car. I was ok, thanks to Jon and Marty not killing it too hard when it was their turn to take a pull but put in red when Kyle would drop into his drops and hammer while taking a pull. Finally, towards the end of Concorde, I sat up and gave up but the stop sign allowed me to regroup. I assured those within hearing distance if I dropped again (like that is as uncommon as the sun setting and rising) to keep going. It was not fair for me to drag on those who wanted to ride harder. Eventually, we go onto Battee and....
...I had been hearing a "pinging" sound and behind me was Luke and he thought I had a popped spoke.....and so it was, for the 2nd time this season. I wrapped the spoke around another and turned back to the west, with a 20.7 average at that point, prior to finishing with 36 miles and a 20 mph avg. Ya know, this is a great group of guys and I regretted having to drop out. The good new is, I called Rick Miller and he was only a couple miles away in his van so I arranged to meet him and turn over the bike. Maybe I can squeeze in one more ride before the flight to the west.