Grand Poobah and Dennis both told me they would ride Westerville so I headed over there to ride tonight....no Poobah and no Dennis. In fact, I recognized only a few of the 65+ in attendance, Franz, Jimmy, Todd Mullens (the guy who failed in his bid to eat 2 pancakes at our earlier Bladensburg rude) and that was about it. The A's were summoned and sent off and only 10 of us headed across the Hoover Dam. Funny story--two guys from England came to a seminar I was giving in Columbus a very long time ago. They saw the Hoover Dam was close by so drove there and stood on the top and asked a passerby if this was THE Hoover Dam, thinking it was the one holding back the Colorado River in Nevada/Arizona. No, they were told, right name, wrong dam.
Other than Todd M and the Walker guy who had initiated many attacks at last week's Westerville ride, there was another Walker dude and other young, fit looking guys but no one I recognized. I had a bad feeling. After 14 miles our average was 23.3. Too frequent stop signs and busy road crossings gummed things up but after 25 miles there were still 9 of us and I began to notice a few had begun to shirk their pull duty. Now, to be fair, I am a world-class pull shirker so I'm not pointing any fingers, just noting a sure sign that fatigue was setting in for a few.
We reached Red Bank and soon the only climb of any significance loomed on the horizon. Compared to the route so far it looked like Tourmalet. We reached the bottom and Todd began sprinting...too fast for me to match that acceleration but then the Walker guy jumped and I caught his wheel and by the time we reached the top, the three of us had a sizeable gap on everyone else. A few rollers followed and someone caught us and then we hit a final small climb on Red Bank, made a right on Walnut, a few attacks ensued, cut left on Cubbage and slowed for the turn onto the paved path that leads over the dam. 37 miles, 21.9mph average but only 910' of climbing. Fun evening.
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