On the Tuesday evening rides I always get dropped. I know it's going to happen, I just try to stay with them as long as possible. Usually, that means about half of the ride--maybe a little less if it's hilly, or a little more if it's flat. When we go south, I do just fine getting out of town, by the airport, and down Case Rd. If we cut over to Tilley, I'm usually okay. If we stay on Case, I'm usually okay. Tonight, however, that was not happening. Going by the airport, all of a sudden, the fast boys decide to sprint. Fortunately, I wasn't the only one who got dropped. The rest of us managed to catch up at the stop sign.
As I was riding along, something hit my forehead and ended up between my sunglasses lens and the prescription adapter. I tried flicking the glasses to get it out, but that wasn't working. Then, it started crawling into my line of sight. I took my glasses off to find a yellow jacket stuck between the two lens. It took several taps of the glasses on my handlebar before the bugger came out. Of course, I'm also trying to catch up to the group as I'm doing this. Fortunately, there was another stop sign. Glasses back on my face, I rounded the corner with the group.
The pace picked up, once again, on Tilley. This caused the group to look rather messy. Instead of a nice single-file pace line, there were riders scattered across the lane as people would hammer hard, then slow up and drift off the back. Once we hit the hills on Tilley, that was the end of it for Jean and I. A couple of other guys (a new guy and "T-shirt Bill") were even dropped behind us.
We made it up the rollers and steep section of 140th to the top of Reeder. Steve had called out a regroup at the bottom of Reeder. Of course, when we got there, no one was there. So much for the regroup. Jean and I continued. We decided to take a short cut straight to Littlerock in hopes of catching them. We got to Littlerock and didn't see anyone. We figured we had beat them there. We kept going as we knew they would eventually catch us. They did, but not for awhile.
When they caught us, we got back in with the group. Jean managed to stay with them for a good chunk of Delphi. I did not. I was pretty quickly spit out the back again. Not surprising.
As I was coming up on the hill up to McLane School, I saw Jean coming back for me. She apologized for leaving me, but she had a good ride down Delphi with the pack. I didn't begrudge her for a second. I would have done the same thing! If you can hang with them, you gotta go for it!
We rode back into town and up the Woodland Trail. As we came to the junction with Chehalis Western, we noticed the moon and Mt. Rainier.
Ahhh...a full moon. That must be the reason for the crazy hammering tonight.
I made it home just after the sunset (time to put the headlight on the bike for these evening rides). It was 48.4 miles and an average of 17.6 mph. As much as I hate the surging nature of riding with these guys, it does, fairly accurately, mimic a race (slow down, speed up, slow down, speed up). So, it's probably good training for me...but, what was the deal? Did you all have to be home before you turned into vampires or werewolves? Is that the reason for the hammerfest? The full moon made you do it!