Today's group ride with the Tri-Cities Road Club was a little different flavor than last week's climbfest. We rode a route that I had not ridden in about 10 years that was full of rolling, small hills that you could absolutely hammer on if you had a good group of people. You could easily (well, sorta easy) do the whole 48 miles in 2 hours if you played your cards right. Mmmmm. Can you say big ring?
We left from Kingsport's Meadoview Convention Center a 9:00ish and headed out towards Baileyton. My legs felt a little like a pair of dead carp for some stupid reason. I have ridden nearly every day this week but not hard and not for long so that shouldn't be an issue. I am stressed to the gills right now with various things, maybe that plus the riding had something to do with it. Anyhoo, it took me the better part of an hour before I felt really warmed up and like riding.
On some road, somewhere, (I don't know the names of these places, I just know where I am when I am there) a nice paceline developed and we were tooling along at around 25mph. I got to the front and pulled for a really long time and finally my legs showed up for the ride. Pulling off, I saw that our group had lost a few off the back, oops, so I tucked in behind the last rider and thought I'd ease up on the next pull. Everyone else pulled really hard too and by the time I got back to the front I figured, when in Rome.............. So I let it rip. It felt good and made me feel better about not racing this summer (I have been really bummed about not having a race to aim for. September seems so far away right now.) because this was fun!
At the mid-point of the ride we stopped at a store to regroup and grab some drinks. I remember the days when I first started riding (many moons ago) and I'd leave the house on a Saturday morning with friends, a bike and a few bucks in my pocket and we'd ride all over hellandback stopping at these little stores along the way for such treats as Moon Pies, anything made by Hostess and who could resist having a Coke and a smile (whoever coined that phrase had to be a cyclist because a Coke under the right conditions will definitely put a smile on your face.)
The return trip was a bit more hilly than the one out and it didn't take much of a 25+mph paceline to make my legs start bitching. Still, we hammered pretty good on the way back until I think everyone was pretty well trashed.
It was a great ride...
One thing though, file this under "S" for Stupid, On the way to Baileyton, some tool riding in the back of a pickup tried to dump a whole gallon of gasoline on us! Luckily we just got a little of the mist from it but shit! I can never get over how damn stupid some people can be. Just a few weeks ago somebody threw a natty light bottle at me (rednecks usually have bad aim, this one didn't do anything to change that opinion) and then just a couple of miles down the road TURNED INTO HIS DRIVEWAY! I already had his tag number and now I had his address, if I was the type, I'd go back there and give him his bottle (someplace rather uncomfortable for him perhaps) but I let it go...... after I called the cops and told them the whole thing FWIW.
Never, never, never underestimate the power of stupid!