After a long series of rides up in hilly Autauga and Elmore counties, it was time to revisit our old riding grounds in south Montgomery county. I looked over my stored routes on MapMyRide and noticed that a ride mapped in 2009 had not been ridden since. Largely based on the club metric century, it's trimmed to 50 miles and included 2 possible store stops and a church that is sometimes open on Saturdays and when not, has a spigot behind a hedge that we know how to get water from. 29F degrees this morning did not dissuade us, but I was careful to do a better job dressing than last week. The wind jacket (it was VERY windy) also served to make my clothes soaking wet, and I did not want a repeat of that. The air was calm, and I went with double layer wool. Wooly Warm L/S base layer under a heavy Pearl Izumi wool jersey (It's too scratchy to wear without one anyway) up top and Pearl Izumi tights over Ibex shorts down below. Feet had wool socks inside Sealskinz inside larger-than-usual shoes and hands had Ibex wool gloves. A wool Riv cap and a merino ear band completed preparations. The ear band came off at the 1st stop, but everything else stayed on, and was needed, all day. It worked out great, I stayed dry and warm.
Pete came by to pick me up and we met Joe, Steve and Tom down at the church parking lot in Pintlala. Bilee and Patty were there, getting ready to launch on a training ride. They planned the same mileage as us, but in 1/2 the time. They were long gone when we got back to the cars. We old slow guys took off and any chill I felt was gone within the first mile as we warmed to the task of pedaling our bikes. Here are Joe and I at the 1st stop, about 16 miles out, Mt. Carmel Church, which was open today for people doing things inside.
You can see my Rambouillet in front and Joe's Hillborne behind. we LOVE our bikes. Tom's Madone lies between us, and he was the picture taker. Hard to see in this picture, but Joe has blue cable housings and blue bar tape on his orange Hillborne. Tough to figure, because his jacket shows his true colors, Georgia Bulldogs! Look at his bike though and it's "Go Gators!" Oh, is there another team with the same colors? Here we are coming up to stop sign regroup. I'm not saying Rivs are slow bikes, but the two riders were generally bringing up the rear today.
It's a good thing that I ate a Nutri-Grain bar here, because when we made our store stop 6 miles later, we found out it was closed. Whether for the winter or due to the economy, we did not know. But we figured we could make the water on board last another 22 miles to the next store opportunity. On our way there, a small herd of deer ran alongside us for a while including some nicely racked bucks, does and fawns. Much faster than we were, and disappeared into the trees rapidly. I also came up on a young red tailed hawk and got a close up look before it flew off. Dogs were no problem today.
There was plenty of climbing today, around 2,500' and the calm air gave way to a good headwind for 12 of the last 16 miles, so we all had a good workout, and appreciated our breathers when they came. Here are Steve and Pete. No pics of Tom today, sorry fella!
We had plenty of coarse roads, but traffic was generally light, and at only 85 psi in 28 mm tires, the road buzz was tolerable. Better for Joe on his 34s. Can't speak for the skinny tire riders.
So, 51 miles at 14 mph avg and about 2,500' of climb. I really feel the absence of mid week rides and HAVE to get that going again, to make Saturdays more enjoyable. I jumped on the wagon train going up Hobbie Rd for a brief spell and it depleted me so rapidly, I was shocked. I spent the next 5 miles slowly pulling myself into the wind, before regrouping and getting some zip back upon eating granola bars at the last stop. That's twice now in the past two weeks that I've felt better late in the ride than at the start.
And I'm missing the Sunday relaxer rides too. Maybe I can fix that next Sunday!