Monday, August 4, 2008

Hill and Gully Rider

Last Minute Decision...

Went to bed in one frame of mind...

Saturday night I was beat and went to bed figuring I wanted to ride a long distance on Sunday, but didn't want to have to trek out to West Gloucester, RI. I also thought that I probably wouldn't do a distance ride because I would futz around and stall too much to take advantage of the day.

...Woke Up (sort of) Motivated.

At 8:00 AM, Sunday morning the reminder I had set for this ride buzzed and woke me up. Hmmm, I can still make it. I figured I was more likely to get a good distance ride in if I did it with a group. I checked Google Maps and determined I was 1 hour and 5 minutes from the starting point. I better get moving. I just went though the motions of getting ready because I knew if I thought about it, I would find excuses not to head out.

No Time for Breakfast!

I didn't have time for breakfast. I also knew I couldn't afford to ride the 50 or 70 miles route on an empty stomach. So I hit the Dunkin Donuts drive through and ordered two breakfast sandwiches and a coffee. I got to the starting point in plenty of time.

Quick Start, Too Quick...

The lead group was running at a 19.5 mph pace after the first half hour. Too fast for me.

The Fast Group
The Fast Group, originally uploaded by Martinator.

This is the last I saw of them. They were averaging 19.5 mph at this point. There was no way I was going to be able to maintain this pace for this ride.

Alone with the Scenery

Horses, originally uploaded by Martinator.

So after I got dropped I was alone. Time to relax and take in the scenery.

Flat Tire

Russel's Flat
Russel, originally uploaded by Martinator.

Russel was fixing a flat in the shade right after the turn onto Lake street on the outskirts of downtown Webster. I stopped and offered him the use of my pump.

Local Rider

George from Charlton
George, originally uploaded by Martinator.

This is George. He isn't a club member and wasn't part of the ride. He lives in Charlton and was just out for a local ride. We rode together for a while until our paths diverged.

Dresser Hill Road

Nice View
Nice View, originally uploaded by Martinator.

This is the view from the top of Dresser Hill Road (Rt. 31). The picture doesn't do it justice.

Clam Shack @ Food Stop #1

Food Stop #1
Food Stop #1, originally uploaded by Martinator.

A Clam Shack this far inland at mile 25 and at an elevation of 830 ft seemed out of place for some reason.

Regroup and Refuel
Regroup and Refuel, originally uploaded by Martinator.

I regrouped with a couple of other club riders here. That is Mark in the bright shirt getting some frozen yogurt.

70 Miles

Mark and Dave
Mark and Dave, originally uploaded by Martinator.

I rode with Mark and Dave for the remainder of the 70 mile route. I would not have done the 70 mile option if I was alone. I'm glad I hooked up with these guys for this ride.

Another Stop

Second Stop
Second Stop, originally uploaded by Martinator.

Mark was getting tired and told us to not let him hold us back. Dave said what I was thinking "It is better if we stay in a group." Luckily, we were right near one of the marked food stops on the map. So we decided to take 5 and hang out in the shade for a bit. We also bought some bizarre disgusting tasting Snapple Antioxidant Water (Grape Pomegranate). I emptied my water bottles into my Camelback and then filled them up with this odd tasting drink.

Dave, Climbing, and Cadence

Dave in the Shade
Dave in the Shade, originally uploaded by Martinator.

Dave is the master of the cadence. I watched how he rode and tried to match his cadence as best I could. Even if it meant dropping back a bit. I am pretty sure that if I didn't have his cadence as a guide, I would have burnt myself out. Thanks Dave.

We Saw Santa on a Harley...

Motorcycle Toy Drive
Motorcycle Toy Drive, originally uploaded by Martinator.

As we were approaching the 395 overpass, we saw a car stop in the intersection in front of us. He was blocking the road to allow about a few hundred motorcycles pass through led by a Santa Clause on a Harley. This shot doesn't do it justice.

...and a person get hit by a car!

As the motorcycle procession was making a left onto the on ramp to 395 North, there was a Ride Support Staff member blocking traffic to allow them to make the left turn. She was also taking pictures of the procession. I was riding up to her (I was on the left side for the road at this point looking for an opportunity to cross back over) when the car that was stopped behind inexplicably started driving forward. The car clipped the staff member in the hip with her car. Unbelievable! She didn't get knocked down but she did get knocked aside and was limping. The car eventually pulled over and a lady probably in her 60's got out and said "I think my brake released". This is BS as brakes simply don't do that.

A Good Ride

It was hilly and not easy. I made sure to stay hydrated and take a shot of GU every 45 minutes. I also was more aware of my cadence thanks to Dave. I never once came close to cramping up. At mile 50 though, my thoughts turned to food...


On my way home I ordered a pizza and ate the entire thing. Note, this wasn't an individual size pizza, this was a regular size pizza. Mmmmmmm...