It was a cold grey day for the ride today and that matched the prevailing mood at the parking lot. Ron's health ( like it or not Ron ) was on most people's mind. That said it was nice to see Robyn out and smiling. Despite calls to have everyone go ride over to the Fantano's with last year's Giro on DVD, pizza, beer and Eric M's travel kit for a night of fun with Ron, everyone instead slowly rolled off into the headwind.
Once off route 10, Guido, Jacinto and Dillon P got things going. The ride collected all the late StopNshoppers and then it was Benje's turn to hit the front for a bit. Iden was up there and so was Mike McG. Jacinto looked like he was a little frisky early on but no doubt the headwind kept him close. Cosmo C and MaHoney were next in the cue up front. Aiden started turning screws once on South Brooksvale and it briefly got strung out for the lead in to Mountain raod. Everyone stayed together onto Mountain, and there was a consistent long line of willing guys at the front. Pace was respectable if not slightly faster then usual. Aiden, Guido, Eric M, Hunter P, CXChris, Mike McG, Chris C etc, got it going once onto Moss Farms and it was pretty quick thru there too. All in all, with the wind and the speed, no one was eager to attack.
Guido once again pulled a little extra out of his account going up to the Marion Ave corner after the chicane. This time, Aiden, Silent Steve, Jacinto, Hunter P and a Devils Gear rider all followed suit. Aiden and the Devils gear rider rode into a gap for a little bit but Tim Rattatattat and the Rivet Racing dude were there to close the gap so it was all together heading into the industrial park. The changing wind put a little zip into everyone step and it ticked up a bit heading to the corner for West Johnson Ave. Joe K was pushing it and finally got Aiden to come off his wheel thru the corner. Joe was all in for the sprint and he quickly tore off a 75 meter gap. The pace was still decent behind him as a couple of CCR riders ( Cosmo, Hunter P ) got up there and tried to give Joe as much breathing room as possible. As the road started to bite 300 meters from the corner to Reinhard Joe still had a decent gap and was looking maybe 50\50 that he could pull it off. Jacinto was keeping it real up front with Eric M right behind. Rattatattat hooked on to Merrill's wheel and the 2 jumped up in pursuit of Joe K, who was cobbling together a sprint but would need to stay on the gas the whole way up to stay off the front. Eric was able to catch and pass him with some room to spare but the Big Balls Award of the night goes to the Joe "imagonna break this bike" Kubisek.
It all rolled back up together on the descent. The speed heading to route 10, thanks to the tailwind, was quick. Some more punches from Aiden almost split the now reduced field in two but the turn onto route 10 was slow enough so that everyone caught back on. It was a good uninterrupted run-in to Stop n Shop. After Ratta and Larry M put in some good turns up front, everyone got to see a good duke-A-roo with a few guys. Eric M, Little T, Mike McG, Chris C, Jacinto, and maybe one other. Little T had a solid jump and was able to take this one.
As everyone rolled thru the center of Cheshire, Chris C snuck his way off the front, this time taking Rattatattat along with him. They dangled out there for a little bit as everyone was at warp 8 behind them and then got held up by a light. Those same 2 managed to sneak off the front like 3 times during the run into Hamden which if nothing else kept everyone on their toes. There was a crap load of guys all there for the ending. Guido and Eric M rocking their butts in the saddle strongly at 37 mph for the very last of it. MaHoney, Cosmo and Hunter P turned up Shepard ave for the road racers finish, MaHoney toughed that out. Good job.
Everyone missed Rondo. Maybe next time the weather sucks we will all get around to the Giro marathon.