Last Tuesday was the final Hell Ride of the season. I made it that close to not having to do a report all year, and for good reason given the quality of the reports sent out this year by Byron, Drew, and many others. Since I am without such creative writing skills, this writeup will be a little more on the minimalist side.
We had a remarkable turnout for the final ride, on what was probably one of the nicest days of the year. Winds were out of the east (yes, east), which made the ride a little different from the usual west winds we are used to.
Rebeca started out at a little before 6 for the B ride. Drew, Josh, Byron, Steve, Robbert, Randall, Jesus, Cory, Elizabeth, Rick and myself (I think I have everyone and I have the names right – sorry if I missed) were rolling out of Spring Meadow right at 6:00 when Mark rolled in. Being the ladies and gentlemen we all are, we patiently waited for Mark as he got ready to ride. We finally got on the road at about 6:15.
As noted, winds were out of the east, making the first leg faster than usual. Everyone stayed together (I think) until Josh started to push the pace on the Birdseye Hill, which caused a split in the group. I stayed with Josh, with Drew and Jesus trying to bridge the gap. Josh and I hit the final climb to the finish before the chasers could close it down. I was able to just get around Josh at the finish, with Drew and Jesus finishing just behind us.
On the second leg, everyone initially seemed content to sit in and take it easy. That is, until Mark and Steve tried a dig just before we crossed Silver Creek. That had the effect of kicking the hornets nest, and it was game-on. The group was able to shutdown the Mark and Steve attack, but then it became a game of wheel-catching, with Josh, Drew, Jesus, and Rick all making moves. Rick made the final move to the finish, but I was able to sneak around just before the line, with Josh just behind.
The third leg was unusual in that it was into the wind rather than being the super-fast down-wind leg it typically is. There was too much wind for anyone to get away, so everyone sat in. We tried to get a rotating pace line going, but it never took hold. As we approached the final sprint point, things started to amp up quite a bit. No one really made a move until Steve unleashed an attack around the group with an acceleration I have not seen from him all year. Unfortunately, Steve went a little too early, and as he faded at the top of the hill I was able to come around. Steve took second, and I believe Byron was third.
Afterword, Byron hosted the riders at his house for some frosty beverages and good eats.
Well, that’s it for Hell Ride 2012. I look forward to seeing everyone out again in 2013.