More Like It

Rest week is over.  It was fun.  I took a day off.  Rode my townie.  Did a couple of longish road rides at the easy pace.  Today it was back to the group rides.  We met at la casa Hopson.  I put his bike on the roof of his garage.  Jim helped a little bit.  We got it up there, but Rick came out and saw us at it which mostly ruined the effect…

We drank coffee, more and more people showed up, Rick got his bike off the roof, and we left.  We rode some serpentine route out of town.  I was confused.  We rolled South, with a big wind from the North pushing us right along.  Hit the gravel, it was nice in places, wet in others, soupy in others.

all photos courtesy of the Eppens

We lost many members of our group as we went, they had stuff to do.  They were the lucky ones…  Made it to Columbus Jct, stopped for Caseys love and turned back into the wind.  The ride down had been mostly uneventful what with the tailwind and generally flat terrain.  That was about to be a pleasant memory.  Right out of town the rollers began, and the wind in the face was just a bonus.  Matias announced a flat tire.  We stopped and watched him change the tube, offered advice and tips, and I found out that nobody I ride with cares about the environmental costs of using CO2 inflators.

Back on our merry way we got to enjoy a bit of pavement as the Eppens and their mighty single speed tandem drug us ever closer to home.  We rode down a big hill, got back on gravel and were soon confronted with a ROAD CLOSED sign.  We blew right by it (of course) to find a super soupy road with chunks of melting ice that looked like glaciers all over the place.  Hopson found something to once again destroy his drivetrain.

Dan and Jim and I were having such a good time riding through without putting feet down we pressed on to see if we could conquer the road that had conquered Hopson’s drivetrain.  Did I mention his derailler got ripped off?  So we made it!  At the far side we stopped to take stock, and did not see anyone coming (we did not actually know that there had been drivetrain carnage at this point, we thought Rick had stopped to pick up an arrowhead or something) so we did what we thought was right and kept on going.  We rode and rode, up a couple of big hills, past some Bison, and to a stop sign.

We stopped, and while Dan and I were accosted by big friendly dogs Jim went to the farmhouse to see if he could look for arrowheads on their land.  He did not want Rick getting all the arrowheads.  So we waited and waited, the sun came out, we turned around to ride back to the top of the big hill and see what we could see.  We could see nothing.  We tried calling, no reception in the hole they were in.  Then, as we were about to call it a ride because we saw vultures moving in, they were coming!

Almost.

As Rick was climbing the big hill his new single speed chain broke.  So we all stood around while single speed v.2 was constructed.  Then we rode.  There was little time left on the gravel, and getting the legs turning after the long break felt funky like it always does.  I do not know where the ride might have been headed under normal circumstance, but with one limping bike we just went for the comfort of the Eden’s loop and rode pavement in.

It was very headwindy!  We rode pretty fast, the Eppen tandem beating the drums for us.  I took pulls for a while.  My drivetrain was hosed at this point.  I had been getting chainsuck while in the little ring, so I opted for the big which helped with the suck, but still sounded terrible and there seemed to be a lot of drag in the system so I was cautious.  Don’t ever want to break a derailler on a group ride, heh heh…

Once we were over Hwy 22 and on the long straight shot home I took a couple of more pulls with the Eppen tandem and Nick before deciding between my crusty chain and first ride after a rest week I should just be sitting in.  So I did.  Rick soldiered through a few times to lend the Eppens a hand.  As I was hiding from the wind and marvelling as I always do at the Eppens I thought about how this was no fun.  I could not hear much over the roaring of the wind and I had no idea what was going on behind me, I just wanted someone to talk to.  But there was to be none of that.  So I just sat in there, knowing that it would be considerably less fun to be battling the headwind home alone.  I noticed Eppen flick his elbow a mile or so from town so I pulled through to help, and they came right back around me, but Brian said I saved him from blowing up.

In town we finally let up and looked around.  Rick was again missing, I guess his chain had fallen off again.  No Matias, either, but we supposed he stopped to help Rick because he is the new guy on their team and that is how it goes.  Jim said the ride stats were 78 miles in 4:45, not including the stops.

I rode to the shop to hang out with Otis.  I don’t think he was very impressed as I just laid on the floor.

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