I’ve got a list of
29 30 people that I text every weekend to let them know when and where to show up if they want to ride with our group. I don’t put our rides on the club calendar because we’re not a no-drop style of ride. We expect those who ride with us to keep up so with the invite-only list, we can be sure whoever shows up can hang. Some might find that objectionable. I’m okay with this.
With that out of the way, we had an impressive group turn out for our Fourth of July ride – eighteen showed up and we met one on the road. The weather was about as perfect as we could ask for on a Fourth of July ride.
We rolled out shortly after 7am with virtually no wind, little cloud cover and temps in the upper 60’s (that’s 20 C for everyone other than we ‘Mericans). We started relatively slow but the tempo built as we headed out of town. An 18-mph average increased steadily till it was catching up on 20 (32 kp/h for the Canukians)
The cloud cover came and went and we even got a momentary sprinkle from the clouds, but that bit of marvelous relief was short-lived. Shortly thereafter, the clouds dissipated and someone turned up the heat… and the sunshine… and the pace. Halfway in, Chuck suggested we should call our Fourth of July ride the Mike A. Firecracker 100k from now on, and so it shall be. How he came up with that with cycling brain, I’ll never know, but it’s a good one.
As the miles ticked by I watched the average pace increase from 19-mph to 19.8 in the last few miles – and I had the 17-mph ride to the school parking lot included in my average so we were easily above 20-mph average over the 100+k. In fact, after checking out the stats on Endomodo (it provides a better breakdown, by a long shot, than Strava), I found we’d completed a 100k in 3:03:09… 20-mph is 3:08:20 give or take – and everyone made it across the line with the lead group.
In all, I don’t think there was any question it was our best ride (and riding conditions) of the year. It was smiles and hi-fives all around afterward. There’s no better way to spend a summer holiday morning than with almost 20 of your best friends on the planet, chewing up the road. Even better, I spent much of the ride next to my wife (the hole between first and third bikes is mine, and my wife is the one in the pink, I went to the front to take that photo by request, then slipped back into place next to my wife).
My wife and I, after thanking each cyclist for coming out, spent our five mile cool down ride home talking about how lucky we were to be able to ride together like that. Good times and noodle salad, folks.