Welcome back everyone!
It was so great to see everyone’s face on our first SMR of the season after a year of being locked down to solo and indoor riding. This is a great panorama taken by Charlie at the start, nearly 30 riders arrived for the B and C rides.
After last week’s rain cancellation, we rode in the total opposite end of the weather spectrum…. clear skies, with the mercury starting at 70F, quickly climbing to the mid 80’s then the mid 90’s! I saw on Strava many club members go on rides starting earlier in the day to beat the heat… not a bad idea, though we certainly missed their company.
As for the B ride, this is how it went down (or maybe I should say up)….
The B group left Pulaski with around 16 riders. The group was very diverse. Many new faces, many long time members, young and older, and many riding their first ever SMR! We headed out up towards the High School and got our first quick rest stop after a bottle drop. We proceeded at a social pace out of town into Leeds with everyone catching up with each other’s year away from group riding. River road into Haydenville is always quiet and not much of a climb, so perfect to be chatty.
After crossing Rte 9, we headed up Mountain St and then Webber by the reservoirs. This is where I got flushed out to the back for the first of a few times. I expected this with my current fitness and it is perfectly fun and fine to climb as fast or slow as you want. A few miles before the regroup point we had our first flat of the day- and all the flats today seemed difficult to fix for various reasons. Chris O. got the prize for this one. It was difficult enough that he insisted we go on. He did make it home safe.
We rolled on up, down, over and back up Bardwell’s Ferry for the first big climb of the day. Did you know that Bardwell’s Ferry Bridge was built in 1882, restored in the 1990’s and added to the National Register of Historic places (wikipedia)- I had no idea it was that old.
Quick regroup, and we headed over to cross route 2 in Shellburne to begin the biggest and longest climbs of the day (it was only 85 degrees- no problem!). I was unable to climb this one with the group as I needed to circle back to check on a few riders. All good. Finally arriving at the Patten district with beautiful views and farms, we were overdue for a cooling descent to the refuel stop.
We descended on Brook Road into Greenfield. We have ridden Brook in both directions on SMR’s past years, but finally all the barriers are removed and they are almost done fixing/improving the road, bridges and drainage. This descent was a pleasure… quiet, no cars, mostly new pavement. About that pavement, it did suddenly change to less than smooth and Mike Y gets the second prize for flat of the day. He urged us to go on, so we did. Also at this point, Eric W took his own detour up to Lucy’s in Bernadston for a special snack.
We hydrated and filled our bellies at the first store we ran into. We look a tad warm.
After a much needed refueling, we headed over to the planned rest stop, where Ari had been waiting for us slow-pokes to show up! From there it was off to River Rd. North where the group got separated again initially (all that Coke!!!??). But, mid-way there were to more flats at the same time (no prizes here, sorry). And they seemed to be very complicated too. As such, the group came back together and we all got another rest.
That pent up energy led to us flying down the road too fast. I was able to get to the front to suggest a 20 MPH all the way back home, as the headwinds were vicious and we all needed to help each other. Everyone put in awesome efforts to get us back under the sweltering sun. We arrived back in town around 1:15, with 62 miles and 3143 of climbing feet on my computer.
Here is a little clip of my most favorite scenery on the ride. It is a bit wobbly (my fitness!) and I am working on processing better HD video.. but you get the views:
Again it was awesome to ride with everyone again, and I appreciate all your patience with the flats, rests, and pace. If you struggled today, don’t get discouraged. Every week is different in almost every way. Today the heat really was a factor. Next week- who knows! Hope to see you all again soon!