The Sleeping Giant Ride is a School bus... Which one were you on?
After much backroom bargaining and name calling, The Sleeping Giant Ride was officially split into 2 groups today… the “B” (for boring) group to do the ride as normal, and the “A”(for ass#oles) group that would do the winter loop, adding about 11 miles or so. As half the ride rolled out under the Flag of Rondo, The other half waited for a couple of minutes to depart for the longer loop. And as the tradition of one group, with solidarity, was broken, wherever they were on this night, Luigi Delbouno muttered the F word more than Paulie Walnuts did on the 3rd season of The Soprano’s and John Elengo became for the first time, Angry JohnnE.
The second group ( A group ) was made up mostly of the Stop n Shop crew (bubble heads and Mike McG), the CCR crew, 3 Yalies and other notables. So most of the ponies were going long and hard tonight. Hopefully we will get some details about what went down in the first group ( B ) and anything to report will be added to the recap.
Right off route 10, Mike McG and Eric M filled the familiar roles of early tempo setters. Also up there doing some surprising early work was Little T, who was coming to grips with the fact that there’d be no Reinhart Sprint for him tonight. The first one to have a go off the front was VQ Rob, who would be jumping off the front all night long. His first go was brief, and heading in thru the cobbles it was all together. He would next give it another go heading into Mountain Rd, but that was swallowed up for a field led by Tall John and Chris C. Some traffic on the corner for Mountain rd slowed things down a bit, but once thru Joe K would jump off the front with Hunter P in tow. The 2 tore it up the hill and were joined by Crazy Chris and it was officially a break. The 3 went to work together and held a gap for a decent length run, getting caught after the 2nd set of risers after the intersection for Higgans rd. Eric M, Mike McG, Julio L and others were chasing pretty hard to catch the trio.
The rest of the way down Mountain was quick as the lean and mean group shared the work load well and many guys were dipping their wicks into the wind.
The B group was just moving thru the light, no doubt caught by a red, as the A group Peleton was coming up to the intersection. The groups would stay separate as the second group waited out the red light and got rolling along without urgency once thru it. The pace down Moss Farms was good, nothing huge, VQ Rob was again rolling off the front for brief spurts along with a 1st time rider in red atop a sliver bike with yellow Time shoes. Heading into the Chicane, it was all together as Hunter P led the field thru. Yalie Adam and Craig L led everyone up the hill initially, and then Little T busted out some sprint and jumped off the front with Joe K in tow. The 2 ripped thru the corner with Hunter P closing the gap quickly. This made a trio again off the front with a small but respectable gap. The 3 would go to work but would be caught right before the turn into the industrial park. Everyone of course barreled thru and headed to Southington for the extended loop. Once onto Mount Vernon Rd, Mike McG resumed pace making along with VQ Rob, Eric M, and others. The pace was going good and there were a couple of solid but brief attacks. The first coming from Chris C, lasting a quarter mile and then Joe K pushed off coming up to the turn by Briarwood but was soon pushed back by the headwind. Again, work was being spread out well with more than 15 guys rotating thru nicely.
As the field turned right onto Welch to go by the golf course The rider in Red had a go off the front but was eclipsed by Mike McG’s sudden attack coming up to the hill. Craig L and the Yalies were up there to patch up holes in the front as the P’ton hit the base of the climb to West St. Little T, who actually found a way to beat everybody in B Group up the Reinhard sprint, nipping Greg Ciocci to the corner, was back with the A Group and seeing the hill to West St as a good substitute for sprint points, jumped hard after Mike McG. Little t came around Mike with a little room to spare and came thru the corner first. Mike kept up the attack as the hill keeps up past the corner. Hunter P was up there in the mix and went with Mike. The two had a gap when Crazy Chris jumped across and then it was 3 for a little bit. Back behind, Little T had stayed up front along with Chris C and a reshuffling up front, it was Chris and Mike leading the way. As expected, there were guys all over the road during this section as it may be the toughest Sleeping Giant stretch, Winter or summer loop. It all came together as the ride had to slow for a light late on West Street. Once on Canal St., the rider in Red attacked once more, this time taking Hunter P with him. The 2 kept the gap up to the light on 322, which as, usual, was red.
The pack took a couple of moments to recover, and then went up Peck Ln a bit faster than usual. There was a small split toward the end of the uphill section, before it turns to Sandbank Rd, made up mostly of the Stage 1 guys. That turned into a leading trio moving onto Route 10 of Crazy Chris, VQ Rob, and Hunter P. That was short lived and heading into the center of Cheshire it was all together.
There was still plenty of get up and go left in the legs for the stop n shop sprint. And heading into it there were a bunch of guys up at the front and ready to go. Julio L, Little T, Rich on C dale, Craig L, Joe K and the Yalies etc… Mike McG was the first to jump, from quite a ways back and had a gap before Little T, Rich and Julio L responded. Little T had the best shot to come around Mike, and there was some traffic to make it interesting, but Mike held off the Alessio charge to the top with Rich being a close 3rd.
The ride into Hamden was faster then usual. The group, not having lost anyone really, enjoyed the tailwind all the way back. Hunter P and VQ Rob had a brief go at the front, but that was crushed by Little T and Mike McG. The speed stayed at 30mph or higher the whole way back, except for a couple of red lights. Heading into the final kilo, there was again a solid group of guys ready to dive it home. The Stage one guys ( Chris C, Dave H, rider on a colnago, Tall John ) gave the front a final shove before letting Little T go out early and burn out, Then it was Mike McG pulling off, leaving Hunter P and Crazy Chris duke it out with Hunter P getting the final kick to the end.
Dillon P was 5th!
No one went up the Shepard Ave hill.
All in all it was a good ride. The A group ended up riding back thru Hamden about 20-25 min later than the B group probably… Maybe even less.
And as there was some premature talk of doing the winter loop again next week, perhaps the New Haven crowd will keep the timing in mind, as there was still more than 35+ min left of daylight to ride home.