Under skies that our mother’s never would have let us leave the house in, 17 riders showed up for the Hell ride this week. After winds that had us bracing to keep upright in the parking lot and a very brief rain shower, the skies parted, the sun came out, and it turned into one of the nicer evenings we’ve had in a while. The ride started out as usual with a nice warmup/ paceline practice as we headed out Birdseye.
As we crossed the second set of tracks, everyone was in a fairly mellow mood and no one gassed it up the first hill. I think we were still bracing for the wind to come back and beat us into submission! As we approached the bottom of the first climb the usual suspects started ramping the pace up a bit. Halfway up the climb I found myself fourth wheel and feeling good. Another hundred yards later I ran out of gas and started my Cipollini impression. Soon the second group went flying by and I still had nothing, so resigned myself to just spinning up to the top. Rumor has it that Scott Herzig took top honors followed by John Tietz, and Bozemanite Kevin Jacobson.
After a few minutes recuperation, we headed out again for round two. Everyone kept together until the second to last roller when Sarah Slanger (yeah, you read that right!) got a gap on the rest of the group. The peleton was a little bit slow to react and get organized, but finally did and reeled her in just as we reached the last dip before Lincoln road. From there it was a mad dash to the sprint line with Scott, Mark Brooke, and John taking top honors.
Round three saw us off at a brisk pace. I thought about taking one of my usual hopeless fliers, but common sense prevailed and I stuck it out in the main group. There were a few small attacks, but nothing serious and we hit the bottom of the hill all together. I thought maybe I’d saved enough energy, but apparently not enough. I just missed the podium behind (you guessed it) Scott, John, and Kevin.
A big thanks to everyone who showed up, and especially to Robert who volunteered to ride sweep.