Andrew C, Lori N and Tim, early arrivers for a beautiful evening of cycling, sun, light NE winds and mild temperature. Lori enjoyed carrying a backpack through the GC so much that she still carries it. Some people commented that 161 was closed due to an accident investigation at 270 so that probably delayed a few, perhaps including....
...Rick who pulled in at about 10 minutes prior to start time but note all the empty spaces so there were still many cars/cyclists yet to come.
Jeremy, French Climbing Machine and Doug McConaha. Several of the Riveters (not pictured here) would choose not to ride with their group but to fall back with the A group and "take it easy". Ha, ha, that's a good one. With a race coming on Sunday, it made sense.
When Kristie B, the king of the kitchen, arrived in her car, my heart and stomach skipped a beat as I wondered what desserts she had brought with her but time did not allow me to find out. Probably missed out on something delicious but bad for my waist..
Rick has become very efficient with the set up and so even though a tad late to arrive, he was good to go by 6:00pm and gave us our marching orders. Way in the back, in florescent lime, is George who is now working so not spending as much time on the exercise bike.
The group, I counted exactly 60, listens carefully and then we are released. I decided to head out with the Riveters, probably as far as Beech and the end of the warm-up and then fall back with my A buds.
We gone. I forgot to count but probably 20.... Luke, Marty, Philippe, Doug, Lori, Nick, Jon H, Patrick, Dave Chesrown, etc... but who I thought was in the group and who also had been in the parking lot, Travis, Danny A, Kyle Z, Ken Buddell, Sergey, were not there. I did not notice it as all I can do is keep my head down and peak up once in awhile to see who is setting such a godawful pace. Oh, get this. A new guy, or new from my perspective, Matt turned to me at the Beech Road light and told me I was a marked man. Dave C had told Matt as long as he did not drop before me then he would be ok. Ha, ha, that really hits the funny bone. That Dave.......
The light NE wind probably worked in my favor as I was able to take 1-2 millisecond pulls and then retreat to draft and hang on. We hit the 310 turn with around a 22.3 avg and pulled into Alexandria at 23.5. Half the group got through but my half had to wait for quite awhile. Above we look for our opening. We rolled through Alexandria and made the left on Mounts. I shivered with dread as I looked up and there was Mr. Cat 2, Luke in front, headed to the base of the climb. Of course, I'd have felt about the same no matter who in this group was up there but Luke, he don't mess around. I was ok though, kind of drifting back within the group but when Doug came by I grabbed his wheel and we reached the right turn on Lobdell where.....I got dropped. Dang, they corner like Riveters too. Unlucky mile 13. Once I lost the draft, I was done. Oh well, hook up with the A group and their gentile A pace and all would be good. I don't know what happened to that front half Rivet group. I watched Strava Flyby and couldn't see either.
Toward the top of Chatham Road, I heard cyclists behind and perfect, the A's had caught me, except, what are all these Riveters doing here. Maybe they were that front half and had gotten off route and were just passing through. Nope, the aforementioned Rivet names from the parking lot had dropped back and hopped in with the A group. Actually, they conformed for the most part to the spirit of the A's and hung in the group rather then going to the front and hammering us into submission...for the most part. This was a good group, Ryan, Frank Seebode was out benefiting from obvious weight loss, Logan P, Christian, Pete Ashmore, Scott Billman, Jeremy, Andrew C and the soft pedaling Riveters. Finished with 45 miles and a 21.5 avg.
The aftermath, with the sun lowering on the horizon. Good luck to those who are racing Sunday. Should be perfect conditions. Since the B group is riding the A route this year, I wondered where they were and drove the route backward to find out.
On Mink I found them so not too far to go. I've heard, let's see, how should I put this....the group was tightly controlled, maybe erring too much toward slowing the group to keep stragglers within. Impossible to find the right balance. Probably many thought the stops/soft pedaling was perfect. The group did make it before dark so it worked out ok.
One of the classics from the archive of the Thursday library. Remember, no maps at the start so print your own or download the route to your device, See you there on an unusual warm and sunny Thursday!!!!
Route A/B 45 mile ride file https://ridewithgps.com/routes/13807523
Route C 32 mile ride file https://ridewithgps.com/routes/13822330