By Jonathan O'Keeffe
Published 05/26/2022; Updated 05/26/2022

After a couple of days in a row of hard rides, I was hoping for a bit of a respite tonight, a big group to hide in and recover a little. So I was somewhat dismayed to roll into Pulaski Park and find just two riders waiting, Luis looking fit and strong, and Isaac, new-ish to riding with the club, but looking lean and mean, perched somewhat incongrously atop a 1x CX bike. Things went further downhill when we picked up Ben as we left the park, and I knew I was the weak link in a strong-looking chain.

There was minimal chatter as we rolled out of town at a brisk pace. I was already feeling gassed by the time we got to Williamsburg, at which point we were joined by Jay. I mean, I haven’t seen Jay in a couple of Covid-years, and it was great to see him, but this was not good news for my hopes of a relaxed pace up the climb. I managed to hold on through the initial flat sections and up to the town line dip, and then the elastic snapped as we hit the steeper sections, and I watched the group ride away into the sunset.

Jay was first to the top, of course, despite a fairly significant MTB crash yesterday, and having climbed the same hill already earlier today. Isaac was apparently not far behind, and they were all kind enough to wait for me at the 116 intersection.

Jay took the first pull on the descent into Conway at a blistering pace, and then Isaac accelerated further, and suddenly I found myself being dropped on the descent, not something that happens often to someone who weighs as much as I do. I had to burn a couple matches just to get back up to the group. Jay turned off in Conway to head for home, and we were sad to see him go [Ed. Note: Not true]. Fortunately the town lines on the way back were not contested, but Ben, Isaac, and Luis all took a bunch of big pulls to keep the pace high. Thanks to everyone for dragging my butt over hill and dale. And please don’t come back next week 🙂