Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Go Figure

Saturday afternoon I got a call from the bike shop to say that my ride was ready. What a nice surprise. And there I was thinking I'd be without it all weekend.

I'm determined to get in a few 50- or 60-milers, and at least one 80-miler before this years Three Rivers Century. Now having the bike, I thought Sunday morning would be a great time for a long one. But where to go?

I was looking over the Epic West County Ride and noticed it looked a lot like the Tour of Wildwood. I remember that ride being a lot of fun, so I opted for 58 mile amalgamation of both - me not being a very enthusiastic early-morning rider.

I hauled myself out on Sunday morning and took off around 6:30. As I approached the intersection of McKnight at Clayton Rd., I see a 20-rider peleton going west on Clayton, and I jumped in with them. It turns out I'd latched on to the Sunday Morning Ride. I sat in with the SMR a few times in 2004, but I'd rather sleep in on Sunday, and since then I'd forgotten all about it. The group membership has changed, but its still very friendly. They ride a 40 mile west county loop every Sunday, year-round.

I stayed in the pack through the turn at Strecker Rd. At that point the group always splits in to three: the long riders continue on Clayton, the racers jockey for position to make up the lead group, and the cruisers fall back. I stayed with the lead group for a while then decided to drop out to conserve energy.

As I turned west on to Kehrs Mill Rd. I looked up and saw a squal moving in from the north (huh? there was no rain predicted...). I'm about as much for riding in the rain as I am for riding in the morning. I turned around and tried to catch the lead group, but by then I was well-and-truly dropped. I guess I was in for a hard effort after all. I made it back to Ladue before the rain caught up with me, and I had to shelter under one of the store fronts in that little business strip on Clayton Rd. I didn't stop for long, but it was just long enough to go cold. Once the rain subsided a bit, I limped on home. Wouldn't you just know it.

Even though I didn't get the distance I wanted, I still got 40 miles, and averaged a respectable 21.6mph for the ride, so I guess it wasn't all bad. Maybe next week?

Oh, and yes, I did ride yesterday. If you have time for a ride, why not ride? I think it was around 110F when I started. I opted for a soft-pedaled 25-miler over the shady streets of Webster Groves (and it was still hot).

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