some weeknight club rides
Interesting Tuesday evening. I showed up for the ride and wound up talking with Connie, who was about to set out early. Her stance was, the hammer crowd would catch and pass her soon enough anyway, so she told me her route. I told her I'd be catching up soon enough, as I suspected I'd get spat off the back of the pack the same way I'd been last Tuesday.
Connie headed out, leaving the parking lot just as John Campbell Lake drove up. He rolled down his window and said, "Will you wait for me?"
"Sure," I said. I talked for a minute with Strawhorne and Josh, then rolled over to where Campbell was unloading and setting up. Moments later, we set out. As we passed the fast group, Campbell announced, "Okay guys, the clock's ticking and the rabbit's loose."
By the time we hit Center Street, Jim Cox and a couple of other riders were on our tail - but they turned right to ride through Center Court, while we turned left to go out Pine Drive and work our way towards Hodges.
We took the right turn for the short cut to Dixie Drive. I amused Campbell by being able to reach back and close my opened Banana bag while riding - you try threading a leather strap and buckle behind you without running off the road so
metime - and soon thereafter the hammers caught us. We all said hi, and off they went. John settled into a brisker pace, I tucked in behind him, and we set off to catch Connie. We caught up to her on Blue Jay Road - but only after she looked back at a dog that had almost chased her and saw us closing in. So much for a surprise swoop for the county line sign. We rode along as a group, chit-chatting, and decided to go straight down Old Abbeville-Hodges instead of going left on Klugh.
We took a right on McIlwain, and moments later saw a rider coming towards us - Austin, one of our local triathletes. He'd been out for an earlier ride, then went out with the hammers, and was having a rough day in the heat. Apparently he'd fallen over into the grass of the shoulder shortly before we caught up with him. We settled in and rode back on 203 together. Just before we got to the cutoff for 185, Campbell tried to hand off a bottle to Austin. It fell into the road, and I had no time to avoid it. I yelped, Belle's front tire went right over it, the top popped off and water sprayed wildly. No harm done, though - we collected everything and rode on to Hodges, where we refilled bottles at Godfrey's before heading back to Greenwood. I had 28.8 miles at the end of the ride.
Tonight's ride was calmer - we met at the fountain, and after hanging together until we reached Scotch Cross Road, the hammers went on and Connie and Vonona and I settled into a comfortable pace. Connie was suffering from yesterday's ride coupled with a headache, but Vonona was riding stronger than she had in months. It all worked out reasonably well, and we chatted and went down the road. I came home with 25.57 miles for the day. Be interesting to see what tomorrow brings ...