By Jonathan O'Keeffe
Published 06/02/2022; Updated 06/03/2022

The weather looked a little threatening, and the turnout at Pulaski Park was initially pretty sparse, but a bunch of people rolled up right before showtime, and a couple more joined us on the road, so we ended up with ten riders, the biggest TNR I’ve seen yet this year. Last week I asked all the fast guys to stay home this week, but they showed up anyway, and brought reinforcements.

We ran a little hot into Williamsburg, but then kept a reasonable pace on the early portions of the climb up Ashfield Road. After we passed Hemenway Road, however, all hell broke loose, and I was quickly shelled off the back. The guys up front apparently did a great job, since their Strava rides are richly decorated with PRs and gold cups. I didn’t see any gold cups, but I was happy to see them all waiting for me when I finally rolled up to 116.

A fairly tame descent to Conway, then more of the same fireworks up the climb on Whately Road, with Isaac launching a huge attack at the base of the hill. The group again kindly waited for the caboose to roll up at the beaver pond, and then it was a fast-paced run to the finish. Fortunately, we managed to stay dry the whole ride, an outcome that seemed somewhat unlikely at the start.

A couple points in preparation for next week: (1) I’d like to slow down the initial section to Williamsburg. I didn’t emphasize this the past two weeks, because we had such small groups, but traditionally this should be more of a conversational pace, not a ride-leader-hopes-he-won’t-die pace. (2) We need to slow down the descending section near the end after the Williamsburg town line on Mountain St, near Adams Rd. This section of road is pretty bad, with a bunch of big holes, and there’s no need to hammer through here. Chillax, spread out, and save your energy for the upcoming final climb and final town line on North Farms Road.