Gus arrives a bit early as we debate the merits of riding the route in reverse. The gang is hesitant with change and lastly, out of consideration for Doug M who rides to/from the ride, we stay with the usual. Ron, in the middle, later towed me for the entirety of the Battee road climb. What a guy. There were 18-19 of us and all anxious to get the ride under our belts because.....
....waiting for us, in the trunk of Kristie's car was a mix of healthy and unhealthy treats. I sampled the unhealthy prior to the ride.
We headed out, pausing at the last light out of town. Here a member of the group mentioned he was having calf cramp problems and during this brief stop, I heard all kinds of remedies ranging from pickle juice to mustard.
The eastern most reach of the route where we regroup. The shadows are getting longer as the sun slides toward the southern horizon. We tackle Stone Quarry where I hang back to conserve energy for a later climb and thus....
....am one of the last to arrive at the Northridge Road regroup but I was plotting and upon reaching the base of Caswell road, I was ready. It took a few seconds for a leader who would pull we to emerge cause you know I'm not going to strike out alone. Finally Ghisallo Nick buzzed by and I leapt for his wheel. He gapped me but demonstrating rare determination, I caught back on and we ascended the climb, joined at the wheel if not the hip. Within sight of the top, rather then show my gratitude for his selfless behavior, I attacked and gained the KOM group points. Unfortunately, the effort did not get me a PR on Strava cause of the mucking around at the bottom.
Upon our return to the parking lot with a 20.4 avg for our 38 miles, Kristie sprang open the trunk lid and we flocked to the contents. This time I had a healthy snack and it too was excellent.