Note: This is a new method of posting. I asked Rick Ogan to write up the Saturday ride. If Fox News can have Fox Contributors, I figured Pedal Pushers could have Pedal Pusher Contributors. And I think it turned out great. As stated, Rick was the author. I hope it's not too distracting from his great article, but I just had to jump in with comments occasionally.
Staging area-early in the chilly morn.
A 40 mile out and back ride was on the menu for 8:30 Saturday morning. It was scheduled to start from Liquor City , down Arden, up and over the hills of Burma Road to the high lines, then turn around and do it all again. Sounded like fun, so Velma and I got up early enough to meet the group. We were hoping for a nice turn out as the last Saturday ride was cancelled due to cold temperatures. According to the Weather Service, this ride was going to start even colder! While getting ready in the morning, the temperature outside was a cool 43 degrees. A pair of tights and an insulated top with a wind breaker were the order of the day. Temperatures later on would get up near 80, but that wouldn’t help much at ride time.
Upon arriving at Liquor City, we met the rest of the cyclists willing to brave the cold temperatures. The cast included Roy, Chris, Liz, Ty, Velma and myself. Joining us at Arden and Burma would be Donna and Dorothy with David driving Sag. By the time the ride started, the temperature warmed up enough to take off my tights and wind breaker. It was cool, but not cold. The sun does wonders when it shines! The winds were calm at the start of the ride, but the forecast called for winds out of the SSW at 20-30mph. Hopefully, that would be after the ride was over.
The ride started off great with a nice easy pace and flat to gently rolling hills on Arden Road. Velma led the way at the start, as usual, with everyone else close behind. Traffic was extremely light, but that didn’t stop one redneck in a pick-up from buzzing Ty on his way to the gun club. I just don’t understand some drivers; no other traffic and another lane to travel in, and they still have to come within a foot of a cyclist. BTW, the truck was a newer model silver 4 door, possibly a Chevy or GMC, in case anyone else has encountered problems with the same type of vehicle. The few other drivers we encountered were all courteous and showed their respect for us. After riding 9 miles on Arden Rd, we all met up again at the intersection of Burma Rd. where Donna, Dorothy, and David waited for us.While getting organized at Arden and Burma, we noticed a nice breeze out of the south that would help push us over the Burma hills. What a bonus-- this was going to be a great ride! But wait, remember earlier, I mentioned the ride was an out and back. Anyway . . . Dorothy had never ridden Burma Rd before, so she wasn’t really sure what to expect. Ty was nice enough to coach her through the hills and she did a fantastic job. With the awesome tailwind, the hills were a breeze ;-))) to ride with the tough inclines keeping it interesting. Ty and Donna led everyone to the turn around at the high lines where everyone gathered up again. The wind had really picked up, and we knew the ride back was going to be a real challenge.
After everyone was refueled, we turned into the wind and started the grind back. Oh my gosh, what a cycling nightmare. We had to go uphill for about two miles (it’s a guess as my computer died early in the ride) into a strong headwind. I was pedaling hard and getting no where fast. I wanted to get to the top of the “Wall” ahead of everyone else so I could take pictures as they climbed up. The “Wall” is the longest and one of the steepest sections of Burma Rd and is located by the Reece Albert gravel pit. As I’m suffering pedaling up the second of the three hills (a primer to the “Wall”), Ty pulls up next to me without a worry in the world and starts a conversation. I’m not sure what he said as I was trying to maintain pace when my legs cry uncle. Ty jumped ahead and had to drop pace to let me catch up. I advised Ty I was trying to make it to the top to take pictures of everyone coming up the hill, so he readily drops back to the next group made up of Donna and Dorothy.
I finally make it to the top of the “Wall” and wanted to lose all my cookies. Actually I wanted to lose my cookies on the “Primer” trying to stay with Ty, but still had the big one to go so I sucked it up. David was waiting at the top of the “Wall”, watching to make sure everyone was alright and no one needing his services, I couldn’t let David see me get sick, cause I wanted to finish the ride. Yeah, that’s it, it surely couldn’t be for the humiliation factor. After composing myself, I dug out the camera and photographed everyone coming up the hill. Ty had Dorothy and Donna snaking their way up the hill in fine fashion. Chris was next climbing just as cool as a cucumber. Velma and Liz followed, both having a little trouble. Velma, because her mechanic (who will remain nameless – hey, no finger pointing) didn’t adjust her front derailleur properly and she couldn’t drop down into the granny ring. Velma still managed to pedal every bit of it though. Liz, because her bike had pure road gears and a half step system up front. Ouch! Roy brought up the rear spinning up the hill looking just as comfortable as riding around the block. (Added by Roy--I frequently ride in last place to make sure that the course is clear and no one is left behind.)
After riding up the “Wall”, the other hills didn’t seem so bad. The headwinds stayed strong as we had to pedal downhill to maintain any type of pace. Upon getting back to where Donna and Dorothy had joined us at Arden and Burma, Donna made a command decision to ride back to Liquor City as David was still nice enough to Sag for us. Dorothy had parked there and called it a day. She was impressed with the hills, did great, and we hope to see her on the next Saturday Ride.
Recall that Velma was having trouble with her her front derailleur. Ty was trying to adjust it.
The temperatures were warming up and Ty, Donna, and Liz decided to shed most or all their cold weather gear. Ty without cold weather gear.
Velma, Chris, and Roy kept theirs on for the final leg of the ride.
As strong as the winds were, I thought we would have a tough time with a nasty cross wind returning on Arden Rd. What a surprise as we cruised back to the start without really feeling the wind.
(Added by Roy--I saw Rick stopped way up the road and wondered if he was having trouble. No, with quiet patience he was just waiting for Liz and me who were just having a nice Saturday stroll. David, sagging, also had a lot of patience as the truck couldn't go slowly enough even with his foot off the accelerator)
It was a great ride and a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning. The scenary on Arden Rd/ Burma Rd was fantastic. Thank you David for sagging for us. Luckily no one needed rescuing. The final numbers for the ride were; 40.78 miles total, 2hr. 57 min. total ride time, 13.8 mph average, with a top speed of 40.2 mph, 1793ft climbing and 2152 calories burned.
One of the fun things about a ride--visiting afterward.
(Added by Roy of course--I was trying to take a picture of the tree when two heads popped into my viewfinder.)