Saturday morning was Justin's Gravel Ride out in Blythewood. 17 intrepid souls showed up. Funny how those who talk all the smack about riding on dirt weren't there...
But I digress...
There was a part failure before we left the parking lot. A kludge was affected, and we were off.
Sadly, the kludge failed shortly thereafter, and the duo from Charleston were forced to head back to the car.
15 rolled on.
We lost a few at the 2/3 distance stop, and they missed out. The last loop of dirt was the best of the ride.
In total, it was 75km of riding, and 50-ish of it was pavement-free.
Big thanks to Henry Mandrell for putting the loop together. And thanks to those who came out for helping our friend Justin pursue his dream of being a
Sunday arrived and met a brother with a stiff back, and heavy legs. Fortunately, we had a good sized group, and no one felt the need to remove their sword from it's sheath. Once over the first ridge, and about 90 minutes in, things began to come around.
We did the Starbucks/GlowWorm/Swansea loop, and had a damn fine time. Even got drizzled on a little bit on the final ascent of Pine Plain, and to be perfectly honest, it felt really damn good.
Another 100km in the books, and it seemed like the ride was short and quick. That happens when the group is full of people who know HOW to ride, and are fun to ride with.
AND we had a tailwind home on 12th. When the hell does THAT happen?
Monday was Memorial Day, so The Boss had the day off. #1 and #2 had school, so she only had to contend with #3, who is easy.
See you later dear, I'ma go play with my friends!
The annual Fun-Flat-50 was going off at Caughman Road Park, so several of us decided to ride TO the ride, as the amount of time involved to pack up, drive out there, and unpack was probably greater than just riding over.
We spun over, and made the 16km trip in 30 minutes.
The assembled group was all shapes and sizes, and the number in attendance was LARGE. I heard totals that ranged from 68 to 74...and that just doesn't happen in this town.
The meandering 80km loop fell under wheels pretty quickly, as the group just sort of moved along at 32-35kmh without a whole lot of effort.
Back to the Park, filled the bottles, and headed home. It was pretty nice to have 110km under the belt by lunch time, then walk up to school and pick up Junior Management.
The rest of the afternoon was spent sourcing a manageable sized pool for the boys to thrash in this Summer. I was forced to go to WalMart. Need I say more?
285km in three days. The capper of the little four day stack will be the ride tonight. It could go well, or it could be really ugly.
Oh, and if you missed the USPRO race yesterday, you missed a ripper. The race was ON from the gun. The break went, was caught, went again with new riders, was caught...etc. The last 90 minutes of the race was excellent. The last break was caught in the last turn, and Eric Marcotte from Team SmartStop just LAUNCHED out of the group, and held on for the win. Team SmartStop went 1-2 and 5, showing that heart, and tactics will out. The "big" teams, which included Continental and Euro heavy hitters had nothing for the little team that could...and did!
And Taylor Phinney crashed on the descent off the mountain on the first lap. He went down at high speed after rounding a borderline blind corner (admittedly the hardest corner on the descent), and encountering a race moto moving at a much slower pace.
Phinney slid into the guard-rail, breaking his tib/fib, and injuring his knee. He had surgery last night, and is awake and alert this morning.
Blame is already flying. The #fauxperts are blaming the moto driver, and the organizers.
There's no blame here folks. It was an mishap. There was no malice. Phinney was descending at a rate that could only be described as 'warp-speed'. Hate to say it, but there's very little that could have been done at the moment of the incident.
While it's terrible, it was nothing more than accident. Phinney is young, strong, and resilient. He'll be back.
And I hate to play Devil's Advocate all the time, but would there be the same levels of angst, and umbrage, if it had happened to a no-name rider from a small team?
Okay...gotta jet. The Giro is on. It's snowing at the top of the Gavia, and at the top of the Stelvio. Should be fun to watch...if they don't neutralize it.