This one’s for you.
We had 7 riders on Tuesday: Byron, Steve Field, Randell, Scott, Jamal, Aubrey, and me. Winds out of the NW at 20+ mph, so the pace line was welcome and provided a good sense of the wind and work that was going to be needed. The group stayed pretty much together until Austin Road, where the heat got tunred up and the “big 3” (Scott, Jamal and Aubrey) pushed more than others could give. Pop-pop-pop – off the back. The head wind and hill kept those three working together, while I tried to keep them in sight (and the same for Randell with me). Up towards the top Scott played the lead group like a violin, coming around Aubrey in the last 50 meters to finish on top.
There was a bit of recovery for the front riders because of the strong headwind, so Steve, who didn’t have any time for recovery got dropped again on the climb out from the fire station. Scott made a point of slowing things down so that Steve wasn’t riding the next leg solo the whoe way (thank you Scott). With a huge cross wind the echelon formation was established pretty early on the second leg, and without it, folks that couldn’t hang (like me) once again were forced to battle the wind instead of each other. Again Scott, Aubrey and Jamal crossed the sprint line at Anna Brown Road 1,2,3, with other coming in like crows in a cross wind (kinda wild-like).
Final leg, the force was with us and everyone hung together blasting down the highway at 30mph+. In the last 2/3 mile Jamal took a flyer but Scott (who hasn’t been on his road bike since the Cow County Classic) and Aubrey push the pedals on the downhill (with me hanging on Aubrey’s wheel). Jamal is reeled in about 150 meters before the sprint line, and Scott, Aubrey and I finish 1,2,3.
Down the hill to Applegate we’re doing 40mph without pedaling.
Lots of time on the way home to talk about the mountain bike nationals where Frank G, Randy and Landon Beckner, and Michelle R showed how Montana riders know how it’s done.
Only one way to do it – get out there and ride!