The parking lot had a different aura about it as Nate, a member of "The Shaders", observed while seated in a prime spot under the parking lot's lone usable shade tree. It seemed a more subdued atmosphere assisted partly by a lower turnout of only 55+/- and the lack of the usual star power. No John G, neither of the Trek killers, Pete or Chris, no Terry, no Rich L, no Paul Stock and the stars that did show, took a curious spot at the back of the peloton but more on that later.
Tym and Lisa just back from Italy. I usually see them ride by my house about every day so this explains no recent sightings.
Mike Rea, patiently waiting for the ride to start.
The top of the Killer B food chain, Kevin (Pepe LaPew), Mark R, John and SuperDave. This weekend, as Jon Sada was describing his thrashing of the B group during last Thursday's ride, one of the listeners, a prominent A cyclist, interrupted with, "Quit talkin about the B group. Nobody cares what goes on in the B group." Alas, there is no glory for dominating the B group.
Jeff S, here in the white jersey bent over, came up with an interesting route of 46 miles that took us through Croton, Interesting routes however, create problems for the A group, members of which, prior to the ride, can't be bothered looking at the map. We took off with only 15 or so "A" cyclists, comprised of Marty, Dave C, Colnogo Ron, Kenda Stefano, Tym, Lisa, Kyle, Mike Rea, Claude, Jason (red shirted dude) Blair, Christian, some kid in a Trek kit who looked like he was 14 and a few other middling "A" riders. By mile 1.5, we were of course, off the route. Arriving at a stop light there were grumblings that we were off the route and so now what. Eventually we did an extended "U" turn and arrived at Jug & #62. A lot of heads were looking around at each other expecting someone to shout out instructions when Marty and Dave figured out how to get us on the route. Our detour probably only added a mile so not a big deal but with the stops, it added a lot of time.
We got on to Greencook with a head wind. The pace was not so hot as guys who normally are drafting behind the stars of the "A" group were taking pulls at the front and guys like me, kind of hangeroners. were thrilled with this outcome. Conspicuous by their absence were Marty and Dave who typically would have roared to the front and begun mashing but instead, were hanging at the back. Apparently, the Wednesday Worlds had taken the starch out of their legs and they were recovering. We eventually got on to Clover Valley, and as we approached a right on Foundation, we could see the killer B group about a half mile ahead. We entered Croton......figured out how to exit Croton and proceeded on Bennington Chapel, right on Crouse-Wellison and a left on Appleton. The pace had slowly been picking up and along Appleton there was a surge that split the group and as we reached Dutch Lane on Louden, the "B" group was in sight and I figured this would set off a testosterone fueled charge and it did. It appeared Marty and/or Dave were now at the front and my time was running out at mile 27 with a 22mph average. We pulled around the "B" group, I saw some really nice folks in there and decided (OK was forced) to pop in with the "B's".
Then the "B" group decided to try to keep up with the "A" group but my legs were not yet ready so suddenly, I was riding solo and expected to for the remainder of the ride. But then, something unusual happened. As I approached the big hill on Louden, just beyond Stone Quarry, I heard a voice behind state, "See, we're starting to catch them." and here came a 6 member team of ""A's" who had previously dropped including, Ron, Kyle, Claude and Jason. Rode the rest of the way in with them for 47 miles, 1150' of climbing and a 21.6 avg. The front group had finished with a 23.1 avg so the pace had picked up quite a bit in the latter half of the route.