It was hot. It was humid. We had seven riders at the start and three at the end. We did a lot of steep climbing and descending. If you like to read books, keep scrolling 🙂
Today was Aaron’s last week leading the C ride (thanks so much Aaron- you’ll be missed!), so some of the B riders opted to ride with his group. Our small group had David G, Chris J, Roberto, Kathryn K, Melissa W, a new rider (to us) Greg, plus myself. The route I chose was a bit less in miles than the past weeks, but slowly creeping up in elevation. Before we departed, we discussed taking the very steep, quieter climb up Montgomery, or the more travelled but less of a grade Main Rd. The vote was for the steep-ness (if that is a word!).
We had a lovely ride out of town up and over Park Hill, getting the blood (and sweat) flowing as well as catching up with the folks we haven’t seen in a while. When we got to the first big climb of the day up to Montgomery, some of us may have regretted voting for it! Luckily most of it was in the shade. If you ever have ridden the Great River Ride century, you know it. At the top Kathryn turned back for a shorter day, and then there were six.
We descended into Huntington for a break and water. Unfortunately, Roberto was having an off day and decided to call for a ride home from there. Now down to five, we set out on Rte 112 toward Worthington, and there were some nice cool spots- almost like there was a quick shower (or was I hallucinating?). This stretch has some false flats and rolls, but is rather quaint and peaceful with the river and waterfalls as you are climbing. The “top” is our turn onto Ireland St, which takes us down a quick hill and then (of course) more climbing up to the apple orchards and then a nice descent past the Chesterfield Gorge.
The last climb of the day- up Rte 143 to the center of Chesterfield or “the wall”as some know it- likely was the worst part of the ride. I was silently cussing as I brought up the (way) rear here. Full sun, steep grade- only 1.9 miles…. ugh (or a painful challenge if you wish!). But it was either this now, or a longer ride with (in my opinion) a less fun return on Rte 9.
In the center of Chesterfield, David and Chris opted to head back directly down Rte 143, so now we had three. The three crazies (?) headed over Damon pond and Sugar Hill Road (where I grew up) were beautiful & quiet as always, well worth the extra effort.
After a tiny last bit of climb up East St, we were rewarded by the ultra-fast descent down through Westhampton (one of the hill climb routes backwards), and kept a brisk pace all the way back into downtown. I turned off for home with 50.3 miles, 4268′, 3:32, 15.9 MPH, max grade 13.8% and an average temperature of 79F (not humidity compensated!)
Great ride- thanks for sticking it out and enduring the challenge/torture!
Next week, I’ll try to plan something with less elevation, but likely with more miles.