Tonight was my now usual Thursday night group ride and only 5 guys showed up. My guess is now that racing season is in full tilt, some guys would rather save themselves for Saturday than hammer away in the hills north of Baltimore. I have no races this weekend, well maybe Monday's Crit, so I'm ready to go.
I got my new bottom bracket installed today and it's working fine, but a few miles into the ride I couldn't shift up into my big chainring, so it was small chainring all the way for me. Better than being stuck in the 53 I guess.
Anyway, It was Pete, Eric, Fastguy on the Felt F1, new guy I never saw before and me. We ended up running into Rick about 15 miles out. He had two guys in tow, a young guy on a Felt, and an older really fit looking guy on a Raleigh Carbon bike. This young guy was FAST. I took a longish pull and when we hit this small hill, they all blew by me and dropped me. Raleigh Guy, F1 Guy and I finally caught them at the bottom of the hill and we were all together again. I figured I would try not to let that happen again so I picked up the speed and got a bit of a gap until our next regrouping spot. I looked back, and Young guy, Mike's his name, was right there. Damn, he is pretty fast I'm thinking, not even winded. Ahhhh youth I thought.
We came down Falls road to the intersection, me pulling again, made it through the green light and started up the next hill, Pete and young guy Mike got the jump on the rest of us again. Pete is a really strong hill climber so he hung on well until about halfway up the next hill just up ahead of me. Young Guy Mike started pulling away from Pete and I maintained my pace. As I came around Pete, he said "Go get'm John." That was all the inspiration I needed so I picked up the pace and blew by Young Guy Mike near the top of the next hill, and maintained pace on the flats above. Pete came around, Young Guy Mike on his wheel. I caught on.
There I was chasing down Young Guy Mike again, got around him before the next stop and waited for the regroup again. At this point I'm glad there's only one big hill left, and one tiny hill left because the speed is starting to get to me. We motored along, all together until the bottom of the big hill. Fast F1 guy said he wasn't gonna push it, I don't think anyone else was in much of a mood to push this last hill either, but oh great, there goes Young Guy Mike again, motoring up the hill. I give chase, finally catch and pass him at the top. Yowch this is fun, Ouch Ouch Pain kinda fun. Eric and Young Guy Mike come around me after the top on the flats and I can't hold their wheel, but I slowly recover and catch them again. Here we go again, pace picks up, one small hill left. The end is near. I slowly edge past Young Guy Mike on the last hill, passing a squashed Turtle in the road. Damn, people shouldn't run over turtles I think. Ride over. Downhill from here back to where we started.
Just another Thursday Night Ride. Life is good.
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