Chuck and I showed up way early for a warm-up. Normally, we’ll show up just before 5:10 pm, pull out the bikes and take a seven mile warm-up. We spoke on the phone and showed just before 5. Chuck was already getting ready when I pulled in.
We rolled out for the warm-up at five after. The southwest wind wasn’t at all troublesome, in the single-digits, and we were rolling easy, around 15-mph, talking about current events. We chose to ride the loop backwards so we wouldn’t be riding directly into the sunset and after all of the headwind was done, we picked the pace up for the push. Slightly more than five miles in, we ran into Dave, heading right at us, so we turned around and headed back the way we came. Chuck and Dave headed north for a couple of extra miles while I took it to the barn for a 10.4-mile warm-up.
For the main event, the turn-out is normally pretty heavy. With the perfect weather and temps in the low 50’s, we assumed it’d be huge this year. We were wrong. Mike and Diane showed with their tandem and Greg and Todd showed up. That was it, five single bikes and a tandem. We turned our lights on and rolled out at 5:59. The final Tuesday Night In Lennon was on.
And it was fast right out of the gate. I’d advertised it as 18 to 19-mph to get a bigger group to show, but with the group we had, three solid B’s plus the tandem (Mike and Diane are solid, fast B’s on the tandem, Mike is an A on a single) and two A’s, Todd didn’t have a slow filter… and his engine is amazing for a big guy. He powered us dead into the headwind at 23-mph and for almost the entire four mile stretch. He was up there so long, I had to drop to the back after being second bike for three.
The remainder of the headwind was reasonable when one of the B’s was pulling, but when Greg or Todd got up there, it was better to be four or five bikes back.
We had a crosswind for the hills and the pace was kept pretty reasonable. We kept the group together for all of them and stopped at the re-group spot for a quick drink and to change bottles. We rolled out with an tailwind and it got lively. 24 to 26-mph. Now, with daylight, 24-26 is not a big deal. In the dark, 26 feels like 40. It was fast. Cycling in a group is completely different in the dark, with lights. You have to rely almost fully on your spatial awareness because you can barely see the front of your own wheel, let alone the wheel in front of you.
We hammered down the homestretch with a quartering tailwind and as we got closer to the City Limits sign, Todd couldn’t help but ramp the pace up. Technically, Mike and Diane started it, and Todd and Greg simply took the baton. In three-quarters of a mile we went from 23-mph to 29. There was no sprint. It wasn’t necessary. We rolled across the line over 20-1/2-mph for an average. Easy in the daytime, not so much at night.
Still, I managed to sleep quite well for an election night… and as is usual, Trump spoke and said a little too much, imprecisely. And the media completely lost its collective(ist) mind when it misinterpreted everything that was said. “The voting has to stop”, which is accurate and true statement, was taken out of context to mean the counting should stop, which only a partisan hack would glean from what was actually said – if that partisan hack knew the context of that comment*.
Such is life in America. At least the cycling was awesome.
*I changed this statement… it was a little offensive and a friend of mine from Ireland commented and, for anyone who isn’t a bit of a wonk, there’s no way, really, they’d know the context of what Trump stated about the “voting” being stopped. Folks, he literally meant “voting”, not counting. See my response to that comment for the rest. If you want an in-depth explanation, click on this link.