Too Hot to Ride. Let's play Shuffleboard Instead
Today was a scorcher. High humidity and air temps in the low to mid 90's meant it was a tough day. The type of day where you better keep your max heart rate 5 beats less than normal, or else you're probably going to explode. The type of day where you have to find the right balance between drinking too much and too little. Its in heat like this where you dont get hot, you end up getting chills from the onset of heatstroke. Some guys like it, and for some its like riding with their brakes on.
We had a decent field, 50-60 guys. There was little activity off the front in the opening miles. Keltic was up front keeping a respectable pace. Some delays in a corner let Greg, Eric from Keltic and Hunter P and a fourth(?!) escape . They had a small gap going down the start of Brooksvale. But things picked up in the field and they were caught by the corner of Mountain road again, just like last week. From there, the field was led by Chris C, Hacker, a new Vision Quest Training rider, and a couple of others. The pace was good, but nothing crazy.
There was little pause at the light on West Main st, and going thru it, Hacker immediatly pedaled off the front. Probably thinking the peleton was too lazy today to chase. He was almost right. A couple of keltic riders came up to ride chase, a couple of Stage 1 guys ( good to see Brian Girard back ).Things strung out a bit as riders decided who would be sitting in and who would contribute, but coming up to the turn for Jarvis it was pretty much together. A group of 4 Stage one riders ( Chris C, Todd H, Tall John & Brian? ) managed to get off the front with some slippery conrnering and were drilling it team style up the hill to Marion. Behind them there was a touch of hesitation. Then strongman Joe K simply decided to catch them himself. He tore up the hill with Hacker and Hunter P in direct tow. The rest of the field was scrambling, but catching, behind them. Joe needed no help and thru the corner any guys off the front were caught. This led to what probably was the evening's most serious break. The group ( Joe K, Hunter P, Chris C, Crazy Chris? 2 more ? ) had a small gap that they kept into the indutrial park. But halfway thru Knotter they were caught by a strung out field led by Mike McG and Vision Quest.
Turning onto West Johnson, the pace was back to not-so-crazy, even perhaps lazy. Coming up to and thru Peck ln, Mike McG picked it up and eveyone sat back, too scared because of the little hill coming up. Mike tore it up onto Reinhard, where finally a couple took notice to match his efforts. Little T, Hacker, Greg from Keltic, and a stage one rider (Brian), all jumped and with Mike, they had a small gap that they took to the base of the sprint climb. Coming up to Schoolhouse, Greg jumped around the efforts of Little T and Hacker and took the corner first. The rest of the field was closing in and all was together going down to Peck.
Riding on Peck, up the slight uphill there, Mike McG again came up and gave the rivet a hurtful twist. Credit him for going fast on the spots were everyone else was hurting today. Chris B, Joe K and others dug deep to keep him close. At the top as the road becomes Sandbank, it was back together. This is where insanely Strong man, Chris B, took off on his own. He simply pedaled off the front as we watched. Brian Girard gave chase, and by the turn onto RT 10, Chris was 15 seconds up, Brian about 8 or 9 off the front of the field. The Peleton paused a bit for the 2 first lights on 10, but Chris was riding away anyway.
Coming up to the Stop and Shop sprint, with Chris still up the road, Little T, Eric M and Hacker went for the points. Hacker stayed on the wheel of Little T, who dragged them to the top. A red light at the intersection Rt 68 ended Chris's run at the front. He probably would have stayed away had he gotten thru that light. He is dubbed tonight's master of pain.
Coming back into Hamden was status quo, but a few guys slipped thru the last light were as the peleton stopped. Chris B snuck up the road with V.Q.T. and Julio (!?). Hacker and Little T paused to re-join. Mike McG had another chance to inflict pain as he drove it the final mile, but in the end there was too many guys all over the place. On the hill, Chris used his 10 second advantage to easily hold off Hunter P, Gregg F, and Morgan* from Keltic.
*corrected from prior post