The (long) ride is back with a vengeance. And so is Professor Hacker.
Plenty of guys ( and a couple of grrrls too ) out tonight to enjoy the heat and humidity. It was good to see Jacob Hacker back out on the ride as he has moved back to CT.
Right off Route 10 Action Figure Mike McG rolled off the front but everyone was ok with letting him just cruise by himself out front. Chris C jumped off the front and caught him quickly right after the cobbles section and then the 2 took off. Maison from CCR was taken out by a flat, there may have been one other with a flat.
Mike and Chris made nice and started working well together as the pace behind started ramping up under the coaxing of Eric M, Guido, VQ Rob, Greg Ciocci and a new rider on a Time with one of those fugly jerseys that you get on a charity ride. The gap to the break stayed a strong 8-10 seconds as everyone was working hard. As the ride roared up to Mountain Rd, a chase group behind the break was forming under the sheer speed. Ciocci (who was flying tonight), Eric M, Todd H, Tall John, VQ Rob, Charity Ride Time, and a couple of others had a brief gap. Turning onto Mountain it kinda came back together, just to see it start to get ripped apart again as those riders in the front drilled it up the hill. Still the break stayed out there, just outta reach. Little T and Hunter P played seamstresses and kept the Peleton, still 40-50 guys strong, close enough charging up the hill so that it came back together on the other side. The catch of the break didn’t happen for another kilo as it was none other than Hacker putting the finishing nails in the chase, after Craig L, Hunter P, Little T, and others team time trialed up the gap. There was some surges\counter attacks right after, but everyone seemed gased and it was together up to the light.
Onto Moss Farms where the pace was a little slower. Lots of guys doing work including some new faces to the ride. Guido and Peter K, with their scariest game faces on, led the ride thru the chicane as everyone winded up the engines for the attacks. They came from Little T and Craig L who shot thru the corner first with a small gap. The two worked for a bit together but folded pretty soon as Mike McG, Chris C, Joe K, Crazy Chris and others were going hard right behind them. Everyone did a good job setting up for the long\short group split, but really only a handful ( 6 or 7? ) turned on the short loop and it was game on as soon as everyone on the long loop got the warm and fuzzy feelings out of their system.
The pace down Mount Vernon road was respectable as CCR standouts Peter K and Joe K kicked going past Mount Southington. Tall John, Hacker, Luekens, Charity Ride Time and a few others pitched in some gas money and the ride rolled along all the way till Welch Road without attacks or breaks. There was some accelerations that stung, but nothing too crazy.
Onto Welch Rd. where everyone with eighth of a brain could see that Luekens, Little T, Chris Butler, and HackAttack up front wasn’t too good a thing. The pace went up as everyone else played musical chairs to see what space they would fill for the hill. Ciocci (?) was in a good spot for the sprint up the hill but sure as summer rain, Little T jumped up and shot round all for 1st into the corner. Crazy Chris, who is starting to read the uphill sprints like a Nigerian Shaman, also flew thru and was in good position to help pace everyone else into the cruel headwind on West Street. The front of the ride regrouped and rolled along back into Cheshire without incident.
Fast forward to the Stop n Shop sprint, where a red light or two slowed things down on the approach. Also Mike McG and Hacker stopped abruptly… Either to fix a flat, or it also seemed like they may have been simply done with pedals and handlebars and were gonna settle it with their fists. All bets are off on that one. Mike clearly has the strength, size and the Irish potato-mongering lineage. But Hacker probably has some voodoo health care reform\power-up potion in his jersey pocket 24\7 so he may be able to outlast Mike’s punches. In either case, we hope they got back to riding soon after that. Back to the sprint where again it was Little T, duking it out and proving up the challenge of a few stubborn sprinters. Julio L, and Leukens among them. The “wins” keep coming for T, who recently bent his chain ring nearly in half while doing hill repeats. Either that says really good for Him or really bad for the Cannondale crap he’s on. We think its equal parts of both….. Here is as good as time as any to shamelessly plug the Scott bikes, now on year end sale, available from Cheshire Cycle.
The rest of the ride back into Hamden was standard issue. The finale was the usual fake sprint setups & leadouts. In the end it was Little T coming around Julio L with a solid 600 meters to go with a right time\right place Hunter P on his wheel. The two tried to put Speed out of business and left a hard chasing Guido. In the end Hunter was able to come around Little T to cockblock the hat trick(?!).