After having been blessed with mostly great weather this season, the last of the Canal rides ended with a weather wimper rather than a bright and sunny bang. At the start, it felt cold despite the temperature being 57. One guy wore a baclava over his head, everyone wore tights, jackets and gloves. Two months from now, such temperatures will produce short sleeved clad riders but not now.with bodies conditioned to 80 degree temps. Probably adding to the chill was broiling clouds overhead driven by a stiff wind. It was dark at the start, darker at the finish, and yes, wet too.
My expectation of cyclist participation was low but eventually, 20 of us showed, probably mostly motivated by the scheduled after ride gathering at Kingys. Despite the ominous looking weather and threat of rain, Jeff S above was busy polishing a minor frame blemish. In addition to Jeff, also there were Amanda, Steve O, Mitch, Pastor Stop Sign Jumper Mark, Peggy, Butch, Donna, Nathan, 6'6" Tall Dude, Roy, Mark Rossi & wife, Margarita Rick, etc... I had put the camera away and was getting ready to huddle behind a SUV with others for warmth when I saw something so shocking, I had to unlock the car and grab the camera.....
.....in a shocking display of blue hued brilliance, THE Mr. Fancy Pants, Steve O, showed up in this clashing outfit with his blue cyclocross bike. Other pre-ride oddities included Mitch prancing around the parking lot in boxer shorts and T-shirt. Unfortunately, images were too blurred to post.
Peggy produced a route that was 21 miles and with so many still nursing muscle soreness from CFC, the pace was sure to be moderate. We headed out to Lithopolis then onto Elder and Winchester Road with some windy gusts impeding our progress a little. A turn east on Marcy produced a wind aided rise in speed and as we were pushed along this long uphill stretch we were not surprised by the unwelcome arrival of drizzle and at times just plain rain. Our ranks had shrunk to around 8, which included a recovering Roy and surprisingly, a very speedy Amanda, who was begging me to designate her the FFC (Fastest Female Cyclist) of Canal award. After passing through 674 and approaching Cedar Hill Road, we debated continuing to Sitterly Road and a vote produced the slightly longer route.
Towards the end of the long uphill stretch on Sitterly, Fancy Pants jumped but his move was telegraphed by the buzz of his nobbly tires and so he caught no one unaware and we all jumped onto his wheel and he pulled us to the summit and then we recovered on the downhill stretch before turning left on Slough and then right on Waterloo for the 21 miles and a modest average speed of 19.3.
Some how, everyone showed up at Kingys dry and dressed and after being moved around by Kingy's staff 3 times, we finally all got together where Donna produced gifts for Mitch and Peggy who tirelessly and mostly without complaint, provided us with scintillating routes and motivation to show up every week.
And so, the evening ride season ends, to be replaced by a spinning class for some but for most of us, we'll retire to our Barcoloungers and begin the process of adding 5-10 pounds. As you can see from the above, we got the process started already. I'll continue to post reports when appropriate and post winter riding opportunities when known. I'll also continue to build on the award list, started below. Next up, Massive Calf Award, Fastest Female and Male Cyclists Award and Short Cutter Award, PLUS Comeback Rider of the Year Award & others.