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Trying to Outrun the Rain with the Horses


September 2019

I had a decision to make. The Weather Channel said rain at noon. Our loop was set for between 52 & 56 miles and we were rolling out at 8. Plenty enough time. I chose the Venge, having just cleaned it from stem to stern. Writing that out so I see it, now I know how stupid that choice was.

It was a chilly, cloudy, but decent morning. Not much in the way of wind.

We rolled out late, waiting on Winston, as is usual.

The pace was easy starting out, only 19-mph after the first mile, but that didn’t last long with a slight tailwind. We picked up Dave and Sherry on their Co-Motion Macchiato (look them up if you’re curious, that’s one badass tandem). The pace steadily increased thereafter to 22. Then 24. I had just come off the front and Winston wound it up. I took a minute to recover, then rode the side of the pace-line to ask Winston to keep it between 21 & 22…

I can remember years ago, when I was just a rook, watching guys ride up to the front of the pace-line along the side of the group, wondering how they could possibly do that without the aid of the draft… and there I was, without a concern, doing just that at 28-mph. A smile of satisfaction stretched across my face.

The next 30m miles were thoroughly enjoyable. Fast, but enjoyable…

And then the first raindrops. We only had twelve miles to go. The sky looked fine, too. Normally you can see the rain coming. Not this time.

Before we knew it, we were sucking road spray. We kept after it, though.

Dave and Sherry thought they had a flat, so they turned into a party store two miles from home. Winston had to head for home, so he and Chuck split. Mike, my wife and I stayed to keep them company through the change. It was a false alarm, though. They were just struggling in the headwind.

They headed north for home, and the three of us pushed for home through the spray. The bikes, already cleaned and lubed, were trashed.

After a hot shower and a nap we tended to the bikes. It always bums me out having to clean the bikes so soon, again. I wouldn’t have traded it.  We really had a good time… I’d have picked the Trek, though.

56.46 miles in 2:45:58. A 20.4-mph average. Not bad for a rabble of Sunday drivers.

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