It's easy to spot a person who is wearing something his children made for him.
Great evening for a bike ride with no wind, low humidity and a temp in the upper 70's. Despite the welcoming conditions, attendance was way down, about 48 cyclists. A new guy was there and marveled at the number but then we told him how large the group is in mid summer. Also not there was Dirty Dan. Someone asked about him and I said Dan was unable to make it because he was throwing his dog in a pond. Seriously, that's what he told me earlier in the day.
Sparse parking lot but the dude who wears the Scottish kilt was there, changing.
Even the cool clique was small in number.
I managed to shout out dire warnings about not signing up and I think most did including....
.....Dave Chesrown, waiting for Axel. Marty took out the Rivet group and then the strong B group headed out but only 4 remained to make up a normal B group so we hustled out to catch....
...the strong B group who were, as usual, hung up at the left turn. There were now 25+ of us as we navigated the roundabout and then got hung up at the light past the gas station. That may be the fastest light in the western hemisphere so only half the group got through, creating a nice split. But our back group sped forward and the front group was not riding hard and so we all regrouped and headed out....
....161 with John leading the way. This was my first time riding with the strong B's and the intensity difference with the Rivet group is striking. We arrived at the turn at York with a 22.6 avg, where I pulled out to wait for anyone who had dropped back and to form a slower B group. Three guys came through and said they were going to catch the front group. I was skeptical they could achieve but after waiting a few seconds and seeing no one, I decided to catch the three and did on the Moots climb. We cruised into Granville and made the left turn onto Raccoon Valley. We were making up some ground but then at the Hardscrabble turn, they went straight so I was now chasing alone. Climbing out of the valley on Lobdell, I was about to catch a straggler when ahead I could see most of the group waiting at Mounts Road! Now there's the Rick Miller inspired humanitarian group gesture. I was so happy to be back in the group.
We got through Alexandria and turned onto Jersey Mill, headed for 310. Reaching 310, I suggested we regroup as there had been some squirrely decisions by a couple of guys who took advantage of oncoming traffic at two turns to cause gaps. It's ok to be completely self absorbed and oblivious but geesh. After the ride, someone suggested next week, yet again, to encourage those in the front to not attack after pulling in front of cars or at turns when traffic is present. Anyway, we pulled into the parking lot with a 21.3 avg and 33 miles. Way ahead, the lead elements of the Rivet group, Luke, Travis, Jon, Marty, etc.. finished with a 23.3 avg. I was told by someone that their average was 25 but could not find confirmation of that on Strava. Well, another weekend coming up and I'll see what I can find and post it soon.
Rick is not able to make it tonight and asked me to cover for him. Please note that while I do not possess Rick's mechanical skills, I still am able to offer some services:
1. Apply Sunscreen to hard to reach spots.
2. Fix a flat but can't guarantee it will stay fixed.
3. Apply chamois butter if absolutely necessary.
4. Rewrap handlebar tape but probably will unravel mid ride.
So, the routes are understandably getting shorter as the season draws to a close yet it is still a good route and a fast one. Print your own map or download to your gps device. See below for route links.:
33 Mile A-Pace http://ridewithgps.com/routes/10307869
33 Mile B-Pace http://ridewithgps.com/routes/10307869
22 Mile C-Pace http://ridewithgps.com/routes/10308081