The Sleeping Giant Ride

A running account of the "race without an entry fee"..... The Tuesday night ride

Tuesday the 7th

Big Guns and Tiny Riders

The ride was at full volume tonight. It was by far the strongest field in a long time. It was great to see the Badger out on the ride. The NE Devo team was out in force, and the Haug duo was out there, Young Kieran and his dad Ryan. Kieran was breathing fire tonight and had several hard digs at the front. Brian "Chocolate Brain" Suto was there again. It was also great to see Rusty out and riding strong.

Off the start, Hunter P attacked as soon as the flag dropped and quickly tore off a gap that got up to about 20 seconds. Behind, the reply was slightly slow but it got going within a minute or two. Aaron B and Noah B, along with Tommy D were among the main chasers. Hunter P would eventually be caught on Mount Sanford Rd, by Aaron B. The two briefly kept it going off the front, but by the corner for Mountain Rd, it was all back together again. The next to hit it upfront were Kieran, Lucas H and Tommy D. A kilometer into Mountain Rd, there was s small gap to a group of leaders, and it was looking like it was starting to stick as some guys were making the deliberate choice not to chase. Hongster jumped across the gap as his Cheshire teammates were holding back a bit. Then Chris C and Dan Smith got going across the gap, which brought Hunter P over as well. That led to the entire field coming back together. Chris C tried to sneak off the front in pursuit of green light on route 68 but it was red for everyone.

Once onto Moss Farms, it slowly got going again, Chris C put in a dig that got him a gap, and everyone looked around at each other. Chris C worked the gap up to 10-12 seconds by the intersection for Jarvis. He kept it going up the hill to Marion, but it was coming back. Dan Smith, Hongster, Alan B, Hunter P, and the Blacks were smashing the pace. Once the catch was made, Aaron B put his head down and kept charging off the front. He ran up a 50-meter gap as the ride was passing the industrial park. The bridging attempts came quick and fast, with Dan Smith first, then Hunter P, then Tommy D, then Hongster. The field was strung out as Tommy D and Hongster kept on the pressure, but the light was red, which gave everyone a chance to reconnect.

On Moss Farms, the Devo team hit the front and kept it going. No breakaways, though. Alan B had a dig, as well as Steve B. All the strong guys were upfront while the pace wasn't out of control hard, it was fast enough. Aaron B and Hongster were upfront as the ride pushed onto Moss Farms. A group of 6 or 7 were rolled off the front and were allowed to a small gap. The last Mullaly closed down the gap for the chase, which set up a 4 or 5 guys in a good position to attack West St. Kieran was there but faded without knowing exactly was coming up. Alan B was there. Dan Smith was there as well. Hongster lit it up with a hard acceleration early on West St that initially no one responded to. The chase eventually fell on Aaron B, but he had no help from Hunter P, who was sitting on for Hongster his teammate. Chris would roll though the sprint with a tight gap. Alan B got into a position to sprint after Aaron B was done with the front, but Hunter P jumped to go across the line second.

On the backside and back into Cheshire, the ride was boring. Some surges here and there, but no hard attacks. The ride got a shot of excitement when Rusty appeared on Atwater St with his 10 buck prime. Chris C started got a headstart and only Dillon P challenged.... but came up short. The ride took a detour around the construction on West Johnson, and it will have to do more of the same for the next few weeks so take note. Straight on Peck, left on Schoolhouse, left on Reinhard, back onto West Johnson and the normal course, right before crossing route 10.

The next big moves were turning off of East Johnson onto Cheshire St. The Devo kids, Lucas H, Tommy D, Dan Smith, Kieran, and a couple of others charged off the front and were thundering away from the rest. Alan B, Brian Girard, Hunter P kept it close. Then Gibertoni went full plaid to get his teammates across the gap before the climb up route 70. Great piece of team riding, as Gibbers was cooked for the night with that effort. Alan B took advantage and surged thru the break as the climb started, with all the familiar guys in tow. His pull put more than a few on the ropes. Hongster then attacked, and only Lucas H, Hunter P, and Aaron B had the get up to go. The four rolled up the hill, rotating nearly flat out, with the chase behind going near flat out as well. The gap never got more than 50 meters, and Alan B chipped away at it until a few guys were able to make the juncture right before the light, which was green. Hongster stayed on the gas enough that no one had it to come around, and then Hunter P was able to jump out for the Hickory Hill sprint uncontested, with Hongster still going hard enough to back everyone else off. Alan was there to make it the second 1-2-3 of the night for the Cheshire squad.

Through the back roads, incident struck as Hongster and Alan B crossed wheels to test the shear resistance of their spokes (Guess what, it's not that high). At that moment, Aaron B jumped the pack, taking along only Lucas H. Despite an eventual full-flight chase from the pack, those 2 would end the ride alone, with Aaron B taking the sprint from Lucas, who is still working out where the line is.

GREAT ride everyone!

Tuesday the 30th

Shaved Legs = 10watts
Another good size crew was out for the ride this week, despite the threat of rain. Roughly 25 showed up. Tommy Dudzik went full plaid and rolled up with proper shaved legs, so everyone knew it was going to be a hootinnanny of a ride. 
Nobody wanted to take the early action, as you had the young gun who is becoming an SGR regular in Aaron B was upfront often, many times chasing down his Jr Black brother. Chris C, Little T, and Dan Smith all chipped in over the first several miles. The few Cheshire Cycle riders in the pack rolled along as passengers as their instigator teammates were still lost in the land of the Canuck.
All was quiet until Aaron B went off like a rocket at the start of Moss Farms. He took along Tommy D and the duo would stay out for a solid 30 min effort. The peleton got some reinforcements with Jordan L and Rusty (great to him back out on the ride) joining in on the ride, and the subsequent chase. 
Chris C had extra grumblecakes before the ride and was angrryer than usual with the lackluster group that didn’t want to pull. Pretty much just him, Dan Smith, Jordan, Little T and a new kid in a Fordham kit were doing all the work. Father time Dan Dudzik tried his hand at blocking several times and got a mouth full of those cakes bits of encouragement from Chris C going up Southington mountain. Some were pissed, some had chuckles at Father's effort. But that's teamwork folks.
Up the road, Aaron B rolled thru the sprint ahead, but they weren't fighting for it, as Tommy D is still wet behind the ears as far as the easter eggs of the ride go. The rain hit everyone hard, but it was brief. The chase was enough to bring the duo back into sight, and it was all together again as the peleton descended into Plantsville. Little T then attacked to get a small gap, with Aaron B trying to latch on as well. The duo was brought back by a brief red light pause going over route 322. At that moment Dan Smith countered. He held the gap long enough to get under a green light on route 10, whereas the peleton had to stop. That was the ride for the night! 
Good ride everyone!

Tuesday the 23rd

The CCAP kids bring it to the SG Ride

The biggest group of the year rolled out with a lot of new faces, including the return of Tommy Dudzik's hairy legs! Tommy D was there with his father Dan. Chris Hong, the Hongster was back for the first time this season. Special Ed was out. Karel Citroen was back out for another SG ride. There was even a Sherpa rider, John Daut, who made the trip up from Fairfield County to ride. Noteworthy in attendance was the yellow triumvirate of C-Capper juniors; Nic V, Curly Huesman, and Johhny M. They stuck together during the early parts of the ride like a well-oiled machine, showing the other teams how to do it.

The first quarter of the ride was quickish, but it was clear that several of the stronger guys were playing it close to the chest in anticipation for the haymakers to start. Traffic slowed the approach to Mountain Rd. Alan B looked like he was going to jump on the early parts, and then Aaron B was pushing it. Dan Smith and the C-Cappers had a dig or two. Past the halfway mark, Alan B saw a chance to jump, and it was soon him, Curly, Dan Smith, and a couple of others (Richard Knowles?) with a gap. Hongster and Aaron B  jumped across, taking along Hunter P. There was some hesitation upfront, allowing Hunter P to go for it, but the light was red.

Onto Moss Farms where Alan and Aaron B stayed on it but not fast enough to get a gap. Tom Dudzik was getting involved in the mix as well. Towards the end of Moss Farms, going downhill towards the intersection, Alan B, Hongster, Aaron B found themselves off the front with a gap. Behind, the response lagged a bit but then Dudzik got to the front with a strong pull. Then Dan Smith came thru with a few guys in tow. Everyone made it thru the intersection safely. Up to Marion Ave, Hunter P jumped across the gap and to the front to keep the break going. That got the CCAP kids to the front, drilling it hard. The gap to the break held for close to a km, but it was all back together soon after. Hongster, Alan and Aaron B, and Hunter P were all looking twitchy near the front, but no one took a chance to counter, and the light on 322 was red.

Past the light, heading towards Mount Vernon, Alan B, and Curly rolled off the front and were going at a pace good enough to separate from the rest. Karel C, and Daut rolled off the front in chase. Once onto Mount Vernon, with the gap to the two going up, Aaron B attacked hard, taking along Hunter P. That set up off a chase in the pack behind that stung for a minute or two. Chris C, Special Ed, Daut, Gibertoni, Hunter P, and the Dudziks all were working hard in that time. Once it was all back together heading up the false flat everyone looked around at each other for a bit. Chris C took off the front with Dan Smith but that was short-lived. More touch and go upfront as it was truce by mutually assured destruction. Hongster had enough of it and attacked with a ways to go before the corner. Alan B jumped to bridge but didn't make it across the gap. Confusion reigned at the front of the pack as it was clear the threat was minimal if the two powerhouses couldn't get together up the road.

Hongster held his gap all the way onto Welch, and up onto West St. Impressive riding! Behind Little T jumped hard at the base of the climb to the corner, and was quickly in pursuit. He caught Hong and went thru alone. Behind, Chris C, Aaron B, and Hunter P all were rotating thru the front but it was clear that T was going to get it. As the rest hit the top, Hunter P jumped with Alan B and Hong to create some space but it was pretty much all together for the ride back into Cheshire.

Dan Smith jumped off the front going underneath the highway on Canal St and was able to hold the gap to the light. The chase was close behind and everyone got the light on 322. Dan Smith kept on the gas all the same. Curly soon after jumped hard to close the gap and took not a soul with him. That led to two up the road with a 15-20 second gap heading up to Route 10. Alan B jumped on the last climb on West Johnson but had to hold up for the light. Dan Smith and Curly got thru the light and so everyone was once again faced with a "let's work together" chase situation.

Once everyone was on the same page, the chase was on, but it was primarily Hongster, Alan and Aaron B, and Hunter doing the early chase. Rosenthal jumped hard on the climb up to Cheshire St. Then a small group led by Alan B broke off the front. Max A and Estaban S were in the mix chasing down the small group. The leaders were still out of sight once on the long uphill drag to the second sprint. Alan B and Hunter P led it out early on, then Hongster attacked the chase. He took along Hunter P immediately, with Aaron B and Tommy Dudzik matching the pace. Curly and Dan Smith held the gap thru the sprint and did not race for it. Curly didn't know where exactly the line was.

The front came together going through the intersection at route 68. The chase was bearing down at that point but the main pack had to hold up a second bit for traffic. The lead group went to work immediately and with good teamwork, was able to stay away for the rest of the night.

Toward the end, Hongster's repeated attacks shed Dan Smith and Dudzik. Heading into the final kilo, Aaron B jumped the remaining guys hard and was able to get a gap which he was able to hold to the line.

Awesome ride everyone! New PRs were set on the night. Hope to see the speedsters from the CCAP out more until racing resumes at the 'Rent later in the summer.

Tuesday the 16th

Big Crowd... Mellow Pace

The turnout continues to increase bit by bit each week. There were close to 30 guys at the start this week, though once again, it dwindled down during the first half of the ride. Aaron B got the turnaround sprint by surging off the front from a ways back and holding it all the way.

Hunter P then attacked on Canal St, going underneath the highway. He got the gap and held it to light on Route 322. He got the green as Chris C was trying to bridge. He had to stop at the light, as did the entire pack. That was the ride. Hunter P stayed off the front for the rest of the way back into Hamden.

Back in the pack, Aaron B snuck off the front in the transition from the Hickory Hill Sprint to the backroads of East Cheshire. He rolled solo as well, and came close to closing the gap to Hunter P but the gap from the lights was too much to take back.

Tuesday the 9th

Quick, send reinforcements! 

There were 20 or so riders out today for what ended up being a barn burner of a ride! Early accelerations came from Dillon P and a couple of the CVC boys. Alan B, ABlack, and a new guy on a Specialized tarmac were up front as well. Alan B put in a couple of digs in the first 15 minutes but there were plenty of fresh legs to keep everything together.

Mountain road was chopped up due to road paving, so that broke up the pack a little bit as Alan B, Little T, and a couple of others were upfront pushing the pace. The disorganization allowed Alan B and ABlack to roll off the front midway through Mountain Road. They met up with Jordan Lynn who was backtracking on the course and all of a sudden that threesome looked like it was rolling away. Back in the pack CVC went to the front to try and bring it back. Chipping in also was Gregg F and Hunter P. The three up front would have rolled away had it not been for the red light RT 68/70.

Damage was done in the pack though, at least four or five guys got dropped and were not to be seen of again. Once the ride got back onto Moss farms, Alan B looked ready to strike out again, and then Ablack as well. But it stayed all together as everybody ripped through the chicane and then on to Marion Avenue. Little T jumped off the front getting to the intersection for Marion, and a couple of others followed suit, but it wasn't enough to drive a wedge in the pack just quite yet. Then Alan B took advantage of the soft legs and jumped off the front. A couple of chasers, Chris C, Aaron B went along and then that created a gap to the rest.

As everyone was rolling by the industrial park Hunter P jumped across the gap which set into a set into motion a quick response from anybody who had the legs to go for it. Hunter P got across the gap but dragged a few other guys all with him, leading to a truce up front which allowed it to come back together. The result: More guys dropped. The now smaller front group got a green light quickly going over Rt 322 and from there the group took a moment or two to reset and catch their breath.

There are a couple of early moves on Mount Vernon but nothing serious enough to be considered a breakaway. Most of it coming from Alan B, Chris C, or Ablack. Eventually, the persistent surges plus teamwork from the CCR guys gave Alan B and Ablack a chance to roll off the front. The chase came from CVC once again, and it all came back together just in time for the false flat section. Hunter P  then attacked taking along Chris C and those two got to work on a gap.

Never to be left out, Alnn B and Ablack bridged up taking also Little T with them which made for a group of five up the road. Behind Brian G, the aforementioned new guy, Steve Beaulieu and a couple of others kept the pace honest but it was not enough to bring the quintet back by the corner for Welch road. Upfront Ablack took to the front keeping the pace high before any cat and mouse games could start. Going into the sprint, Little T jumped from behind all and hit the headwind. Hunter P came around and was took it by a few bike lengths. The gap to the breakaway was 8 to 10 seconds at the start of Welch Rd but after the leaders settled in on West Street it was much higher. With the gap in hand, the breakaway stayed away for the rest of the ride.

There was plenty of drama in the break as it was CCR versus CVC with Ablack playing the wild card. For the Hickory Hill Sprint, Alan B took it over Ablack. And those two ended up holding the escaped despite the chase from Little T and Chris C.  The remnants of the peloton, just six or seven guys, rolled in three minutes later. Great ride everyone!

Tuesday the 2nd

The ride is back!

Last week was the soft opening for the post covered 2020 sleeping giant ride season. There were about 12 guys out which was more than expected. A couple of days ago restrictions within the state had been loosened, allowing up to 20 riders. We took advantage of it today! Just about 20 or 19 riders were out and it was a great ride. Alan B, Aaron B, Hunter P, Chris C, and even Kyle Crowell even got into the action! There were numerous attacks in the first half of the ride, but nothing got away from more than a few minutes. On Mount Vernon, Alan B had a solo breakaway that lasted a little bit, but it was altogether by the turnaround sprint. Despite some strong attacks from the usuals, it was Little T who came around and got the sprint easily.

Onto the next sprint on route 70 in Cheshire, where Alan B led the entire field out up the climb. A stiff headwind pushed him back and minimized any chance of him riding away. In the final 500m Aaron B and Hunter P jumped off and went head-to-head to the line with Hunter P getting it by a bike length. From there to the finish, the dwindling pack of seven or eight guys kept it fast. Aaron B had a couple of flyers off the front, but the CVC guys were usually there to close it down. Max A, Chris C and Dan Smith all had good pulls in the final kilometers. Dan had an excellent final dig for the finish line chasing down Alan B and Aaron B but it was too late. Alan B took the final sprint.

Tuesday the 24th

Hong's Haymakers Prove the Difference

     The final "final" ride of the year. The pack was smaller but the speed was still there. Ryan O and Hunter P rolled out of the parking lot quickly, and the nuetral start down 10 was faster than usual. Traffic getting into the backroads brought everyone together. Hunter P took a couple of pulls at the front, Dillon P, and Grome as well. Getting onto Mountain Rd, Alan B Dan Smith and Hacker were near the front ready to rocket off, but there was no big attacks to get free. Pace was fast and a couple guys were dropped. COming up to the light on 68\70, Dan Smith was rolling off the front but the light was red for all.
     Hunter P rolled thru onto Moss Farms, whereas the pack dillegently waited for green at the Notch Store light. Hunter P kept on the gas and held the solo gap until shortly before the turn into the industrial park, where Grome, Chris C and The Sernyak took over up front.
     Turning onto West Johnson saw some digs up front but it stayed all together until later towards the light. Alan B and Hongster rolled off the front, leaving it to The Senryak and Hunter P to keep it together in case the light was green. It wasn't. It was red. On the backside, Gibertoni rolled off and took towards the second half of the ride solo. He would be caught on Meriden Rd \ route70.  From there guys up front were sitting up to get ready for the climb.
      Ryan O and Hunter P got the climb started, and then Hongster took a shot, immedtialy to be matched by Alan B and Hunter P. Then it was Alan who swung a punch. Then Hong. In a skit played out nearly a dozen times this season, Hong + Alan traded blows more than once, Hunter P sat on, the rest who were up to it clawed on the train for dear life, and more than few checked out the back for the evening. Some caught back on at the red light, some did not.
      Up front, what was now a breakaway (Hunter P, Alan B, Hongster, Chris C, The Senryak) got green towards the sprint. Alan B ramped up the approach, but Hunter P was quickly able to come over the line next in front the Sernyak. Break and elite chase came back together at the red light. Hongster kept the pressure on after the light, and Grome, Dan Smith, Alan B, and The Sernyak stayed on it to make sure it stayed together.
     On the next street, Hong jumped. Then on the next street, Hong jumped again. And the next. And the next, etc etc etc. In a bold move, He jumped on the Coleman Rd downhill leading to Jinny Hill. Alan B went with and the 2 sped off despite the lower power to gravity ratio. Behind them, Hunter P, The Sernyak, Chris C and maybe one other dude was willing to nose out and chase. The two were caught before the climb up Boulder Rd, and it settled down a bit. Hong kept on the gas though and was able to put a little dusklight between him and the chase on the early parts of Tuttle. He opened up that gap on the rise when the chase slowed a bit. Chris C rolled thru at tempo, then Hunter P. Hong had 5-7 seconds going through the intersection, and that was enough to get a head start on the final 2000 meters. He ripped through the downhill section quickly, whereas there was a slight hesitation in the pack due to the dark. By the time everyone got onto the final rollers thru by the farm, Hong was out of sight and had it sealed up. Final points went to Alan B who took off uncontested for the sprint 10 seconds early and held on in front of a semi-charging Sernyak.

Great ride, everyone! Great season of SG.
Don't forget to come out and support Cheshire Cross on November 2nd. Rumor has it that the Hongster will be out bringing his brand of racing to the party.

The Sunday ride has its early adopters... Planning even to ride this week. Expect it to slowly pick up momentum and riders as we get thru the month of October.