Sunday, May 1, 2011

Spring Spectacular Pt. 2

This morning was the "actual" ride for the Spring Spectacular, which is an annual fun ride sponsored by country road cyclists. I met up with Darren around 8:30am and we headed to the Wharf for some pre-ride go fast doughnuts. About ten minutes before the ride was to start Marco shows up, showing no sign of pain from the previous days ride. My plan was to do the full 60 mile ride, while Darren and Marco planned to go for the 25 mile option.

In total, about 30-40 or so cyclists started the trek over the Westover bridge and towards 100. The initial route followed the Hammer route up big shannon, and it felt quite odd not riding at hammer pace. At the intersection, we turned right onto Schriver Hill road. Following a break to fix a flat, I was rejoined by both Darren and Marco, both of whom missed the turn-round back in Mt. Morris. Shortly after turning onto Kirby road, we neared the 45 mile / 60 mile route turns, where I took the 60 and waved Darren off as he took the 45. To quote the previous post, I had thought Marco also turned off for 45 miles.

The 60 mile group then picked up the pace a little bit, but was forced to stop for a flat after about another 5 miles. As the group was getting ready to go again, to my surprise Marco pulls up next to me claiming Rule #5 and going for the full 60 miles. Impressed with his willingness to go for it, I wished him luck, while not guaranteeing he would get the same support received the day before should he crack.

Once we started going again a good paceline formed for most of the trek up 19 to Waynesburg. It was about here that the rain really started coming down, making the next set of miles miserably wet. At about the 40th mile, we stopped at a food point for some much needed nourishment, which consisted mostly of cookies and cream pies. However, during this whole period - Marco was nowhere to be found. With nobody knowing where he was, and knowing that some people were picked up by the sag wagon, we continued onward. Eager to get out of the rain, the group worked at a good tempo pace, with JR occasionally throwing down some attacks, none of which my legs wanted to cover but occasionally responded to.

Pulled back into Morgantown just over three and a half hours, finishing with 65 miles on the day. Good long ride with a good group.

Extra Big A.S.S. Ride

Today Kyle, Marco, Dave and I joined in on the bonus Annual Spring Spectacular Ride. The day started out cold with Gunnar complaining about waking up early and having to wear earmuffs. He decided to take it out on the world by going hard for the first 15 miles, despite having not been “emotionally prepared to crush it” that early Kyle, Dave and I held his wheel and turned in some great pulls. The ride then paused for ~20 minutes for warm clothing removal and tan line perfection while we waited on the rest of the group. After everyone got back together we rode at a much more reasonable pace for through several roads I have never ridden before. We took two stops so people doing the shorter rides could split off to take a shorter route home…we thought Marco turned with the first of these groups.
The ride proceeded to a 7-eleven for water and food. We were about to start riding again when Marco rolled by, apparently he had missed the turn off. Marco was in it for the long haul and did well until we approached the 45 mile mark when he got dropped. The next 15 miles consisted of Gunnar, Kyle, Dave and myself taking turns pushing Marco up hills and back into the peloton until we could get to a spot with cell service so we could call for a pick up…Marco wasn’t the last to need a pick up.
The rest of the ride consisted of steady climbing and hard intervals on the flat. Most notably was the section from Big Shannon to Masontown where for some reason several of us decided to line up and crush it. The effort ended with Gunnar, Kyle and myself rolling into town alone. All in all, it was a great 103 mile ride on a great day. Good job to everyone, especially that 16 year old kid known as “the kid” (I know, we’re soooo creative.) The best part is, tomorrow’s A.S.S. ride should ‘be even more better’ with doughnuts and a pizza buffet afterwards.