We had a pretty big group last night for the Thursday deathmarch. As the ride progressed, the group got smaller. The trip out of the Fort was uneventful, which meant that the ride was going to be one of two things later on....subdued or balls out. It was the later, thank you very much.
The pace picked up on Ridge and the trip down to Elon was one of the fastest ever. People were already shirking pulls. I recorded my max speed on the run down...64 kph...
I guess BS&G took some climbing juice out of people's legs as the slog up Elon was pretty slow. I made it over in the middle of the group if that tells you anything. Once we crossed 378 though, the pressure went on and stayed on. PeanutHead created gap #1 at the train tracks. It's pretty amusing to actually watch him ride, what with the deathgrip on his bars (which are flipped up at comical angles) and his complete lack of acceleration. I chased the gap to RW, DerKaiser and a couple of others at well over 50 kph.
Once the turn onto Airbase was complete, all bets were off. DerKaiser and Beano nailed it and got away. The group actually worked well together and pulled them back right at the foot of the bump.
Immediately after the bump, DerKaiser went again and took Doogie with him. They stayed away for the remainder of Airbase. Again, we worked well together until about 2km from the stop. PeanutHead pulled through and just sat up in the middle of the group...at 45 kph. The right line kept chugging along as shit-for-brains threw out the anchor and coasted down to 35 kph. Philip and I were behind him and got gapped out. We made the bridge back, but I got a stitch in my side. You remember those don't you? I haven't had one since 8th grade football. I had the legs and heart to go, but the expansion of my chest felt like someone was removing a rib...with a spoon.
The group fell apart shortly thereafter. I could see 1s and 2s and made the turn very shortly after the lead part of the shattered group.
The ride stayed together for the rest of the night, as no one really wanted to go hard anymore. Of course, PeanutHead rode off the front of the group while we were meandering at 32 kph, as is his M.O.
Overall, it was a great, hard effort ride...the pain in my side notwithstanding.
I think we are just going to continue to meet at 9 on Saturdays and 8 on Sundays. Everyone was pretty ineffectual about it last night, so I'm making the call. If anyone has an opinion, please speak up.