Seven hardy souls kicked off the 2013 Hell Ride Tuesday on a cold and windy evening. Randall, Joe H., Robert, Mark S., Chris, John, and Josh set off from Green Meadow Lake promptly at 6:00 into a hardy headwind blowing in from the northwest. Temperature was something south of 38 degrees, and looking west, it appeared we were headed into a blizzard. The group developed a nice rotating paceline after the first tracks, which made the wind tolerable. After the second set of track, Josh decided the best way to warm up was to attack off the front. Apparently he was the only one who thought that was a good idea, and everyone else sat in and let him go. With the wind, it wasn’t long before the group was together again. At the base of the Birdseye climb, Josh and Joe decided to turn the screw a bit, and the group started to come apart. Joe, Josh, Randall, Mark, and John stuck together. At some point Randall popped off the back while Mark and John were happy to sit back and let Joe and Josh battle the wind. At the top, having done no work, John jumped and took the sprint, with Joe second, and Josh third.
After a short respite, the group headed out on the second leg. The wind seemed to be building. John, feeling guilty for having taken advantage on the first leg paced the group down to the Silver Creek crossing, where Joe, Josh, and Randall took off. From the distance, it looked like Josh took Joe on the sprint, with Randall third. Randall tried to explain what happened, but his cheeks were too frozen to talk.
After regrouping, it was time to head downwind for a change. After hammering into the wind for two legs, it was almost silent (and warm) do run with the wind. The group stayed together and sailed down the third leg with Robert doing most of the pace setting. At the finishing hill, Josh started his sprint a little too early, and John was able to come around him at the finish.
The group spun into town with snow squalls all around. While it was cold and windy, the snow stayed away for the entire ride. All in all, it was a pretty nice evening. Hopefully it will be a little warmer and calmer next week, and we will get more of the team out there.