We’ve ridden the same route since I’ve been cycling with the club… since the early spring of 2012. Oh, it’ll vary from time to time for people who dropped or didn’t have the want to that night, but for the most part, exactly the same every Tuesday night. Until last night, due to a closed road that can’t be navigated around. You’d think that we’d grow bored with the route over the years, but it isn’t the route that makes the ride, it’s those you’re riding with and the speed at which you’re navigating the route that makes it fun. Every week. All year long. Without fail.
The Trek stayed home. Last night was tailor-made for the Venge.
We rolled out together, A’s and B’s, as one rather large group on the first night of the year with a fair breeze that was warm enough to require anything with “warmer” or “cover” in its name to be left at home for fear of sweating to death instantly – upper 70’s (25 C) was the order of the day and it was glorious. We had a lot of headwind to battle in the beginning miles of the ride so it was nice to have what had to be 20 or 25 riders in the double pace-line. We got plenty of rest in between pulls.
The pace was lively but fairly measured. There were a few surges, but the closer to the front you were, the better the ride smooths out. I was never far enough back to get into the yo-yo effect. The new route was great, especially as traffic was concerned – fewer cars than on the normal route.
We did run into some trouble in the hills, though. While there’s a little less “up” in the new route, what we do have is more concentrated on a few bigger, steeper hills. My buddy and his wife on their tandem fell off the back on the last major hill and I stayed with them so… and it was mentioned before we rolled that there would be a regroup in Vernon. That regroup never happened, even though we were only 75 yards off the pace when we turned into town so we ended up just the three of us taking it to the barn.
We ended up rolling over the City Limits line with a 21.7-mph (35 km/h) average for the main route (minus the cooldown mile).
All I can say is, it was so much fun being out on a warm, fast Tuesday night I actually had a tough time falling asleep last night. But I managed.