Alas, last night was our final club ride of 2015. The year is done. Over. Finete, Finished. Au revoir. Mooi loop, 拜拜, Ni sa moce, ciao, sayōnara, arrivaderci. Saved the best for last… I am part WOP dontcha know.
I know, now I’m just showing off. Suffice it to say, the $#!7’$ in the can.
It was fun, slow (I ended with just over a 19 mph average), and, even a little challenging at times.
We rolled out with a really small crew of seven “B” groupers at 5 last evening because it gets dark so early now. It was chilly but not cold, actually quite pleasant considering the time of year, but windy. We spent much of the first half of the ride with a helping wind too. Mrs. Bgddy and our friend Diane (who usually rides a tandem with Adam) were both in attendance so we had a decision to make early… Drop my wife and Diane and leave them to their ride or stick together). My buddy Mike is pretty cool that way, we chose to stick together. We had my wife and Diane hang out on the back while Doc Mike, Mike, Ty and I did the bulk of the work… I think I spent the first fifteen miles either first or second bike. Of course, this spelled trouble later on in the ride.
Once we headed into the cross wind and headwind, we had to watch our speed so we didn’t drop the ladies – nice at first, but it grew increasingly more challenging. My wife and Diane decided to take a shortcut and cut a mile or two off of their route so we agreed on a meeting spot and went our separate ways, picking up the pace. We were holding about 22 mph into a pretty heavy headwind and rotating quickly. We caught the ladies at a crossroads, about three miles early and commenced to taking it easier again. Now technically, “taking it easy” is a fairly relative term – we were still holding an 18-19 mph average into a tough headwind.
Coming into our first little town, I was in the lead and planning out when I’d make my brake for the first City Limit sign when I heard someone upshift a bike or back… I was trying to keep it just fast enough that the others weren’t encouraged to go around but slow enough that I’d have some gas left for the mid-way sprint. Somebody else was thinking along the same lines as I was. Out of nowhere, and way too early, Doc Mike came charging around me. I caught his wheel and stayed with him but he was really picking ’em up and putting ’em down. I managed to hold his wheel for a lot longer than I should have but my buddy Mike came around me, just as I was running out of gas… He finally got me.
Also, unfortunately, TT-guy was back. He’d showed up late and did the route backwards to meet us. So, in the space of five miles we went from a perfectly lubed seven man (and woman) machine, working together to beat the wind, to a discombooberated mess, just trying to find shelter and not get wiped out. I had a tough time keeping my positive demeanor.
Before long, the ladies started struggling to keep up with the diminished draft and fell off the back. Originally I decided I was going to stay with the lead group – with only four miles to go, surely my wife wouldn’t hold my dropping her against me. I had a change of heart a quarter-mile later and started to drop back. The idea was, because Doc Mike had stayed with them, was that I could drop back, rest on the way back, then take the lead and try to bring them back to the main group. It didn’t work out that way. Mike ended up splitting off and trying to bridge the gap himself and I stayed with my wife and Diane to bring them home. We rolled across the finish line with just shy of a 19-1/2 mph average. Not bad considering the conditions.
With that, until next season, this will conclude the Tuesday Night Club Ride Series, with one exception: Next week (or possibly the week after depending on the weather) will be the Tuesday Club Ride: Night Ride Edition. Every year, on the first Tuesday after Halloween, our final ride of the year is an easy 30 mile ride around the normal route but we start at the normal time. With the time change on Sunday, we’ll be starting out in the dark – headlights and taillights will be on order. I’ll be sure to take plenty of photos…