Wednesday, January 2, 2008

2008: A New Year, Another Ride...

I’m calling yesterday’s ride a 200K, but the truth is the course was a bit longer, thanks to a couple wrong turns along the way.

I pre-rode the Lexington 200K two weekends ago and showed up yesterday to help Tony G out as a volunteer. My riding plan was to show up at the start, roll out to the first control, then retrace the route back to the start and head home. That would give me about 60 miles, a fine distance for Jan. 1.

I never really wrapped my head around the ride, and I wasn’t prepared, equipment-wise. For instance, I didn’t put my cue sheet holder on the bike. Wouldn’t need it, right?

Well, things didn’t turn out as planned. Cruising along with the gang, including Jerry, Joel, John B, Dean, Chuck and newcomer John M on a cool morning turned out to be … fun. Go figure. My legs felt great. When I hit the first control at mile 30, my mind was made up. I’d go ahead and do the whole loop. I struck out from the first control with Chuck Lathe and we had a fine time rolling along and chatting. So much fun that we rode about two miles past our turn. The road we missed? Klutz, of course. For a fleeting moment we were at the front of pack. Now we were to hang the red light on the caboose for much of the day.

Ironic, ain’t it? Both Chuck and I blogged about “bonus miles” in the past week. Now we were living ‘em. But that missed turn made for a pleasant hour or two of conversation.

We fought a fierce headwind until Cleveland. The shift was dramatic when we made a lefthand turn. The tailwind was so strong we had to apply brakes to keep from being pushed through a red light.

After a control at the 90-mile mark, I pushed on solo for a 13-mile stretch up Hwy 801. I caught up with Dean and John M at Hwy 64 and we rode in to the end together – almost. Fact is, I missed one more turn in Lexington and circled through the maze of warehouses in downtown Lexington until Tony called and set me back on the right path.

Another fun day on the bikes. And good to have the January century out of the way.

There were several retrorides on display yesterday. John B had a very cool and tricked-out vintage Schwinn. Very sharp. John M was on a Surly Long Haul Trucker. Also tricked out and completed by a kickstand. (It was his first night ride. Congrats on that, John!) Meantime, Chuck was on one of his handsome Cohos, and I had my Silk Hope.

As Chuck finished last night, he remarked that he'd never done a 200K in January. Thanks to Tony G for giving us that local option, and to Joel and Richard Lawrence for all they do in helping out. BTW: Richard showed up in a new ride last night: A Toyota Prius. And the rumor is that he has another new two-wheel ride on the way....

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