An important step in his long recovery from a blood disorder, Jeff Schluep returns to the Thursday evening peloton. Jeff is doing well, taking steroids and turning that into cycling muscles as well as some beneficial treatment effect.
Rick Miller pressed me into service as ride leader and then I talked Steve Hewitt into doing it so I could take care of the important role of group photographer. There was some confusion about the Rivet route as the map showed a 58 mile option but no gps file posted for it so hopefully the Riveters followed the A/B route, 52 mile option.
Paul Djupe on the right, who led the way up to the Canyon Road summit last week.
Seems like most of the Thursday rides have had threatening skies and several people had their smart phones out checking radar. Fair weather riders opted to stay away but one appeared, albeit in his suv and not on his bike, Jon Morgan with Dave C, Marty and Aaron C to the right. After I posted Tuesday's climbing segment up Raccoon Run Road, Dave was quick to mention his and Marty's effort was at a relaxed pace (gee, thanks) and then....
.....Ken Buddell rode Wednesday and now he is at the top with a 42 second effort. I watched the Strava Fly-by, hoping Ken paused at the bottom to rest so I could disqualify him but it was an honest and solo effort. I'll be out of the top 100 in weeks. 42 seconds, that is going to last awhile.
More folks radar checking but probably 60+ arrived and decided to ride....
......including Philippe and a serious looking Kyle. Only about 18 in the Rivet group, of which I was an undeserving member but someone needs to spend a mile or two with them to report transgressions.
We got hung up at each light but then burst into the open countryside. I was feeling good, not yet on the rivet when....
....at freakin mile 2.5, Muscle Dude or someone said my tire looked a bit splashy and sure enough, I was out and the locomotive churned on. I use Gatorskins or Continental 4 Season tires so I rarely have a flat (I have the strength and power to overcome the poor tire performance, don't you know) and I admit at first, I had to pause to recall how one is fixed. I found about an 1/8" diameter hole so must have picked up a rivet. The A group, B group and C group passed with lots of encouragement although I thought I heard Flyin Tuna remark, "Couldn't happen to a nicer guy" and then other groups passed. I am grateful for all the offered assistance but each time someone said something I felt obligated to look up and acknowledge, taking me away from the task. It took 20 minutes to fix it and with my "toy" pump, I bet the psi was no more than 50 so I rode back, buying a new tire from Veloscience.
Meantime, the big fish were out on the road riding a punishing route that would put the B group into the parking lot at or a bit after sunset. The top rivet group finished with a 22.5 avg.
Geesh and golly! 58 tough miles for the Riveters to tackle with some monstrous climbing in there too. I predict the A group will be very strong as some marginal Riveters will look at the route and decide they don't want to be out there alone, so far, far from home. Or, they'll drop back prior to the A cut-off and will be scooped up, or I don't know what I am talking about. I'm goin with the latter rather than the former. I can't find the gps file for the 58 mile route but the others are:
Route A/B 52 mile ride file https://ridewithgps.com/routes/14145605
Route C 36 mile ride file https://ridewithgps.com/routes/8577239