Fun ride today! Took the new bike out from the house, rode down to the river and around the trail. Tons of folks out! After the freezing Easter weekend then rain and cold yesterday I think everyone was ready to get out for some fun.
After riding a loop and a half I wanted to try a new group ride that was meeting at 2 over at the soccer fields. It was actually a training ride for CARTI Tour de Rock this June. I rode up and I knew one person out of about 35 riders. It was GREAT! I had a lot of fun meeting a lot of the new riders.
We had 2 groups, one that would average 16-18mph and another that would average 12-14mph. Yes, I went with the first. Super tailwind on the way out to the farmlands made for a super easy ride.
We got out to the regroup area and didn't really have to wait to long for the others. Took a break then the whole group headed back together. The organizers were smart and got us over into the forest roads so we had some wind blockage. Man, once we came out of the forest it was hard (22mph) wind straight on. The girl in front of me hit a pot hole and her water bottle went flying. I dropped out of the line to return to get it but another rider in the next group got it so then I had to sprint to get back to the lead group. Giddy up pony!
Myself and the rider that had picked up the bottle took turns pulling into the wind until we made the first group and then hid inside the peleton to recover. We were laughing and having a great time.
We finally got to our turn off road and the group was able to recover a tad then over the first set of railroad tracks and back to the road that would get us back to North Little Rock. The front took off and I chased a bit then another guy went to the front to pull and I planned to move up but the line closed so I headed straight to the front to pull into the head winds. I haven't moved my computer to the new bike so I had no idea how fast I was going. I kept my head down and pulled as hard as I could pointing out potholes, glass and sticks along the way. I could feel myself tiring a bit and was ready to pull out of the line and I looked back expecting to see a wheel on my tail but n-o-t-h-i-n-g. There was no one behind me. I felt really bad to have jumped like that but I really didn't know how fast I was going. I heard later that the group was going 20-21 mph. I slowed to go over "the" railroad tracks.
Sidebar: "The" railroad tracks as you enter into North Little Rock from the southeast side are still a fear of mine, even after 2 years. On Sunday a group of friends and I were returning for a great ride and we rolled over those tracks at a screaming 23mph and my wheel dropped down and flipped me and a rider behind me. Cracked helmet, beat up bike and blood. Sara’s bike was gone, as in nowhere to be found. It flipped off down into a deep ditch while she went over me. To this day, I have no idea how we kept from breaking bones. I still fear the tracks.
The front group got back together at the light and we headed back to the trail (it’s really a paved bike path about the width of a street).
The soccer fields were a welcomed sight and as we rolled into the parking everyone was once again smiling and laughing.
After talking a bit and meeting more of the group I started my ride to the house into the wind. I locked out about mid way and got to have tailwind just in time. This ole boy was getting tired! I had one big hill to climb and it was on a road with a lot of traffic. There was a guy in a motorized wheelchair going up the hill (no sidewalks) and had traffic really backed up about ½ mile. Man, I felt sorry for him but no one honked and were very courteous.
I finally rolled into the driveway and unclipped from the pedals and smiled! What a great day to be out! New friends, a fun ride… just doesn’t get much better!
Going out for surgery is going to be a bummer because next weekend is calling for sunny skies and temps in the upper 70’s to low 80. I’ll be sleeping off anesthesia on the deck at the house.