My wife and I were supposed to ride the tandem though she wasn’t feeling the mojo and didn’t know if she’d be down for the full 56-mile ride so she wanted the option to take a shortcut.
I wanted all the miles.
I prepped the Trek to roll. Sunday Funday is billed as a 17 to 18-mph average so I won’t take the Venge. The Venge (with me on it) just wants to go fast. The Trek takes a little more effort.
We rolled out, Chucker, Matt, Diane & Jeff on a tandem, Mike, Jess and me. Matt was a little surprised we had such a sparse crew. I was a little surprised myself, but it was going to get very hot very fast and we were rolling out really early. Wheels were rolling two minutes past seven.
The ride called for most of the headwind early in the ride so we started out into it fairly easy for the first mile or two. At which point we picked up Joe and Dave… now we had a group. We worked up the pace as we went along and got it up to a comfortable 18-1/2 to 19-1/2 mph before long (30 to 31 kph). After eight miles we turned south and that was where the wind was. It showed more west than south on the weather app, but there was unquestionably more south. We gutted that out at about the same pace, though. At 14 miles we stopped at our favorite gas station to buy a Payday for my wife and use the facilities. We ended up sitting around talking for quite a while before someone finally pointed out that we could talk just as much whilst riding. We rolled out.
Now, humorously, I can tell you exactly on my Strava analysis of the ride where Greg and Dave caught up to us. There’s a quick spike in the pace and a consistent one or two mile per hour bump. We’d already had a decent average in town but it started ticking up from there in a hurry. Greg and Dave pulled us through a lot of the headwind sections and Greg helped a couple of riders who were struggling in the hills with a boost by pushing on their back while pedaling a little harder. I followed suit with Jess and we worked our way through the hills.
28 miles in we caught our first tailwind and the hammer went down. We kept a great pace up until Dave and Greg left us to head home and we turned east to get ourselves back. Several of us were running low on H2O so we altered our route to get to a convenience store and some refreshment. I bought a Cherry Coke for me, a Coke Zero for Jess and a bag of ice for all of us to share.
When everyone finished, we rolled out for home, bottles topped off and breathing stabilized. Chuck and I looked at each other and Chuck said it was going to be the two of us taking it to the barn. I was right there with him and we did just that, keeping a good, steady pace all the way home. We lost several riders along the way, all of whom split off to head home, but we otherwise managed to keep the whole group together all the way home.
Chuck and Mike headed home and Matt, Jess and I stopped in our driveway with a 19.3-mph average. What a ride! Dinner was mighty tasty last night (chicken nachos)… and my daughter and I went into town to the carnival for another elephant ear and slushy.