The evening got off to a bad start. Flyin Tuna showed up and proceeded to seed doubt about the accuracy of my Saturday report, casting aspersions toward me, some of which were unfounded. Steve Hewitt, C ride leader. walks away, disgusted with what he heard. This season can not wind down fast enough for me. People have short memories. My integrity will be restored by next season.
Lori Nedescu back after a whirlwind tour of Colorado, Italy, Puerto Rico and on the verge of joining the new Whole Foods at Easton as the cooking coach. That sounds like an interesting line of work. I don't know how someone in that position avoids becoming fat. I'd be at 400lbs and headed north.
Rich Lewis made a rare appearance, chatting with Danny, Marty and Dave.
Good turnout, over 60 but I lost valuable image taking time trying to convince people to sign the sheets. Mike gathered a large B group and while splitting them into two groups.....
....Marty led out the Rivet group. I had talked Dirty Dan into joining, explaining that both Jon Hasting and Shannon, two notorious guys who enjoy pummeling us, were absent. Not that there aren't plenty of others capable of doing the same of course. A large group of 25ish head out. No sooner had we escaped the village when the group went single file. No warm-up tonight, just hammer city from the start. I cast a glance forward and this time it was Luke and Marty turning the screws. Those two, then two others than a looooong line. Then crossing Kitzmiller things were ratcheted up a notch before we reached the Beech Road light. I looked forward, who could be doing this and it was.....
....dang, Group Killer was here. He must have been keeping a low profile in the parking lot. Wait a sec...is that a time trial bike with aero bars???? He didn't drop into the aero bars while pulling did he? That would be a group ride, unwritten, rules violation. Plus it sucks to draft behind. Surely not?
The group sped out 161, already shorn of a few people when we turned left on Mink and as we approached Beaver, I had not yet had to brake for the turn when I looked forward and caught a glimpse of Shannon, already through the turn and riding hard. I had a sinking feeling.....later, I hooked up with Philippe and I think he said his name is Alfonso as we rode through Alexandria. Philippe headed back from here while I continued on the route with Alfonso. My average was around 24 which makes sense with the tail wind and some down hill. It began to drop precipitously.
I was fighting a bout of discouragement. It sucks to get dropped so early, causes you to question every ounce of ice cream consumed in the last month. I combatted the anguish by....trimming the route. A right on Corner (rather than stay on Hardscrabble) and staying straight on Louden (rather than turn through the school) brought me to Raccoon Valley Road where I turned left, entering and exiting Granville and in Alexandria, was overtaken by a very small group of Luke, Marty and 2 others. I couldn't imagine what had happened to Travis, Pete C and others who should have been there but later learned a flat had slowed some and a touching of wheels some others with these four all who had escaped the carnage. It was then, while Luke pulled out of line, that I noticed he was riding a cross bike with, yikes, with matching wheels/tires. I was again dropped on the climb towards the Beech light and then later overtaken by a large group of Jon Morgan, Lori, Travis, around 15 and drafted them for the entirety of the ride back to the parking lot....
...where the group gathered to share experiences. As my experience was not so good, I had nothing to share. I finished with a 19.9 avg while the front four were at 22. Twenty-freakin two with that head wind and the climbs and one of them on a cross bike???? Got a good route coming in a few for Saturday.
But wait! Not going up the Thornwood climb but going down it. Bet not many of you have climbed the back side, medieval that one. If you make it to the top, you ride the brakes all the way down to the stop sign. The good news is Jon Hastings is involved in a modest run around the Leadville, CO area so won't be there to punish. Who will take up the reins? Oh, Rick will not be there so little ole me will be there to sign you in, pass on an inspirational message and Mike will be there to break up the B group in the parking lot rather than on the road. See you in less than 24 hours. Get a good night's sleep and be ready. Remember, print your own maps: http://www.thecyclingclub.org/club-rides/thursday-evening-ride/
Mark is a long-time cyclist who enjoys poking fun at himself but most especially at his friends. No nicknames or comments are intended to offend, accept them in the humor they are intended.