Saturday, October 6, 2012

 Today was our club's Jersey Ride - where everyone wears their club jersey.  Unfortunately, temps in the 30's had most of us wearing jackets over our jerseys.  I was able to lay on enough layers and pull my jersey on over the top.  My weight loss from the last two years (two years already?) still permitted a comfortable jersey fit over several layers.

 Here's Kathy giving some pre-ride instructions for the official jersey photo.
Just a few miles from the start our group was splintered by a train.  Not too many times I get to yell, "train left!".

Once the group re-formed, we rode on to the 37 mile split.  I did the 51 miler, and took this photo shortly after the split.  I'll bet there were at least 60 people who were on this ride at the start and a little more than half took the 37 mile route.

Although this is one of the hillier routes in the area, we still had miles and miles of flat, open riding.  We had a head wind for the first half of the ride - winds 15 - 20 mph.  I did my share of pulling at the front, but only for a mile at a time.

We rode along the Wabash River from Huntington to Andrews, and shortly after passing through Andrews, we climbed up out of the Wabash floodplain up on to the Rim.  The Rim is a geologic feature that runs for maybe 100 miles or so from Roanoke all the way to Lafayette on the north side of the river.  It's a big hill, and it separated the group.  Fortunately I was able to stay near the front.

5 miles after the hill we turned back to the east and had a ten mile run back to the start with a mighty tail wind.  My training this year, starting last winter, rando rides in the spring, and fast riding in the summer culminated in the fastest 10 self-propelled miles of my life.  We flew at 23 mph for many miles.  Big Carl and Steve cranked up the pace again with about 7 miles left.  As bodies started dropping, I looked at my speedo - 28 mph!  Another hill just 3 miles from the end, and Carl, Steve, and Hugh slowly pulled away from me.  I was able to catch Hugh right at the end, but Carl and Steve churned a might pace back to the start ahead of everyone.

We had brats and baked beans waiting for us at the end, cooked by Patrick, our club president.  Riding together on a brisk, fall day, then getting to share a meal at the end - a great day.  I'm glad I made the decision two years ago, on October 1 to start my weight loss.  After carrying 260+ lbs for many years, spending the last year at 200 lb or less has been like going back in time for me.

Happy riding!