May 1st Hellride Report

We had a great first Hell Ride of the year Tuesday evening. Several of the usual suspects- Byron, Randall, Aubrey, Scott, Corey and me. A couple of new guys , Mark and Drew showed up for the ride, so I went over the basic: distance (about 30 miles), route, the pace line until the tracks, the three sprint finishes, some basic strategy, and said that one of the faster riders would commit to staying with any slower riders. Who that would be, was not clear when we took off. Several were talking about the Sunday Bearmouth Road Race and taking it easy, although it wasn’t clear how that would happen with a strong 15 mph W wind. We did pretty well up ’til the tracks, getting folks comfortable with moving through a double pace line about 14-15 mph. I found myself at the front crossing the tracks, so decided to push it up the hill at a good clip to get the blood moving. Checking back, all seemed to be there, so we cranked up a notch to the big hill at the Austin Road junction. By this time it was pretty apparent that talk about taking it easy was just talk and not action. All were motivated to push it up the hill without much slacking-off. Before the lumber mill I was maxing out, looked back, and saw that Mark and Drew had fallen off the back. Perfect opportunity for me! “Hey guys, I’ll drop back and pull them up to the fire station”. I wasn’t there for the sprint, but heard that there was a surprise attack from Corey. i had the pleasure of riding at a more reasonable tempo with first Mark, then Drew up to the fire station.
Short re-group and off we went – across the river and up the hill toward Lincoln Road. Once again, folks were feeling frisky and the pace was brisk, to the point where once again, Mark and Drew were off the back, and poor me, I took the opportunity to recover and pull Drew (I think – oxygen deprived brain) back up to the group, and then dropped back for Mark and rode him up the hill to Lincoln Road. Again, someone will have to provide the specifics on the front of the pack, ’cause I sure was not there.
Third leg – with the big classic wind at the back, after the tracks Byron put the move on and Scotty followed him up and got a good gap on the rest of the group. After about a half-mile Aubrey could sit back any more and led out Randall, Corey and me. The gap was closing with Aubrey doing yeoman work and me in a oxygen deprived state of being. I guess I’d better see if Mark and Drew need some help – yessiree – thank you very much – see you guys on the down-hill leg – I’ll drift back and help the two gentlemen at the back out (and keep myself from keeling over!).
We all pulled in together at the Libation Station to make sure all was well, and then rolled back easy into town visiting, sharing stories and news and planning some race riding.
So there you have some of the Hell Ride report – seen from the back – which is not a bad place to be.
Hope to see an even better turn-out next week.
Cheers,
Robert

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