Thursday, August 05, 2010

WNR #21 - Setting the Bar

Rider Roll Call: Me, Pete, Rob, Kevin, Charlie, Cheryl, Bobbie, Sarah, Hugh & Denise.
Plus post-ride guests: Katherine, Scott & 4-week-old Finn!

With only 10 days to go until Ore to Shore, everyone has been looking to squeeze in a few more miles in preparation for the event. Due to the style of course on which the O2S is run, Pete envisioned a portion of the old North loop for a more 'road-centric' spin/ride with some good climbs, dirt roads, a bit of single track and maybe some more good climbs. There was even mention of throwing in Wasson's Grade in near the end for some more good climbing...sounded like fun (a little warped & sadistic but fun!)

So the group ride began, heading north on Terpening (except for Sarah & Cheryl - they headed out behind the house on the single track) & I'm not sure where we dropped Hugh & Denise - the Mtn. Tandem duo because, as we climbed the first hill, a couple of us (myself included) thought a hill sprint would be a good warm-up...the beginning of the end (of relaxed riding anyway.) Racin' Rob even upped the ante by starting his stomp on the shoulder, in the dirt I might add! Competitiveness took over from there with Rob leading the charge, only slowing to look back for ride, (or should I say race) directions. Did I mention that he had put in a 3+ hour, solo, 6-lap, 42 mile marathon on the Wildwood trails the night before? Evidently he needed his head light & a couple more laps.

The chase continued down Boynton to Townline, north to Middle Village, on to Lone Rock then down Robinson to Good Hart. A bit of single track through the Readmond Township Park trails to get to Lamkin and then south past Church Beach (which, surprisingly, Charlie had never been to before) and on to the S. Lamkin grind. If you aren't familiar, this is a steep, narrow, semi-paved, mostly hot-patch, 1.1 lane road that side-cuts the bluff to connect Lamkin to M-119/Shore Drive. The climbing competition continued, this time with Charlie leading the charge. Pete's bike had other ideas at the start of the climb when his chain hopped up over the cassette; no damage done, just a forced stop at the base of the hill, getting temporarily dropped by the group that wasn't about to back off mid-climb - he'll catch up! Once on M-119, the push continued & cutting through Surfwood seemed more apt than the early notion of climbing up Wasson's. So it was, up through Surfwood to the back end of Troup road and back to HQ...most of us semi-racing to the imaginary finish line. I'm not sure there was a clear winner but it made for an intense but fun ride and a good look at what might happen come race day.

The post-ride appetizers, dinner & dessert was exceptional and certainly refueled the hungry crew. We were even introduced to the newest future WNRider as Scott & Katherine brought their new boy Finn to join the group for dinner. As always, there was good conversation around the table much of which centered on cycling, training theories & practices leading up to the race. Should we taper off & rest or continue to ride hard? Regardless, it should be a great year at the Ore to Shore, in fact, this may be the most well attended year by the WNRiders. I think just about everyone that rode will be in Marquette for the race, not to mention, several others that weren't able to make it to this ride.

Thanks for reading, it has been a while since I've posted on the T2 blog but Pete has thrown down the gauntlet & opened up the WNR reporting to weekly volunteers and has put a 6-pack of fine beer on the line for the best post of the month. Basically, someone new will take a turn at the weekly report and at the end of the month, our impartial, Flagstaff-based rider & blog judge, Sarge will determine a winner. As you can see, I'm going for volume & hoping that word-count least I didn't double space! Next week's ride at the Meadow for one last ride (hopefully mild not wild) to give us some nice single track to enjoy before the race.

Here's a late picture addition of Finn Alexander...for cute points! (tugs at your Daddy-to-be heartstrings doesn't it Sarge?) Thanks to Sarah for the pic!


Mike said...

Nice post Chris. Way to step up to the challenge and set the bar. Good luck on that 6er of fine brew.

SARGE said...

Good work with the volume, Chris. +/-739 words!!! I really enjoyed the report. It's nice to get some different perspectives. Any word on what kind of beer is on the horizon for the winner?