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Daily Archives: May 19, 2021

TNIL: Riding with A Couple of Unlikely Friends

For some strange reason unbeknownst to me, we’re not up to our normal massive group of A & B riders on Tuesday night. We had fantastic weather for last night’s edition of Tuesday Night In Lennon but a sparse crowd of B Group riders (normally we get more Bs than As), low 80s, plenty of sun, and a decent southeasterly breeze but nothing to complain about.

Chuck, Craig and I were the only people who showed up for the warm-up.

We started the warm-up lap easy enough but Craig picked up the pace until we were hammering it pretty hard. We added on a mile heading north with a tailwind and I had it wound up to 30-mph before relaxing a bit and waiting for Todd and Greg who were riding to the start from home. The remaining three miles of the warm-up was really easy and took our average from 21 all the way down to 18.5.

We were a little late rolling out due to the fact we were all standing around talking in the warm spring air. Someone caught on at a couple minutes past 6 and we rolled out. The Bs went with the As.

The pace was quite awesome to start. Fast, sure, but not outrageously so even though we had a crossing tailwind. Even heading north we were 2-mph slower than we did on the warm-up. It was quite nice actually. And so it was for the first five miles until we hit Shipman road and all of the fun stopped. Thankfully, I’d known what was coming so I chose a very specific side of the double pace-line so I’d be somewhat protected on Shipman. It worked a treat and we cruised at 23 to 25-mph into the crossing headwind. I’d been hiding for a few rotations and decided to get back into the rotation at the front. As riders peeled off and the effort grew more intense with less of a draft, I handled the effort fine. I took a short turn up front and flicked off to the back.

As I drifted back I noticed Ukulele Dave and Big Joe had dropped off the pack… and something in my melon said, “Go ride with them”. So I listened to it and did. I drifted off the back with a 22.7-mph average and turned around to go scoop them up. We were less than a half-mile off the back when Joe caught me, Dave just behind him. The three of us formed up and rolled out. Because we weren’t with the main group, we had our choice of routes and I wanted to try something we hadn’t done in a while that jogs around some road construction that has the normal route shut down. It turned out not to be all that fantastic (certainly not for the full group – one turn was absolutely treacherous with gravel), but it was neat to see some things I hadn’t seen in years before getting back to the normal route.

The rest of the ride was quite enjoyable. Not too fast and not too slow that I got antsy. The three of us were working pretty well together and it was nice to be sweating again with the mild, late-spring temperature (81 F or 27 C). We didn’t set any speed records, of course, but after the big weekend road trip, I didn’t know how much I had left in my legs, anyway.

We took a detour to avoid some brand-spanking new asphalt that had been laid down earlier that afternoon. We rode it for the warm-up and it was so fresh we got some of the tar/asphalt stuck to our tires, so I thought it best to skip that section… Ukulele Dave is even more particular about the cleanliness of his bike than I am, and Big Joe is right with me.

We covered the last three miles in short order and that was that – a most enjoyable Tuesday in the books. How wonderful it is to be back in the nice weather again!