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

Tuesday the 28th

The long loop gets a crowded send-off.

    The Ride started off slow today, despite a big crowd. It also started on a downer as Hacker got hit with a flat right away. Mountain Man and Guido jumped off right away on the backroads and were allowed to ride off. The pack slowly chugged along. Tall John, French Casey tried to get things going at first. Neumotion also jumped in and then Eric M. But all in all the opening 4 miles or so were slow.
    Coming onto Mountain Rd, the speed was picking up a bit and the leading 2 had throttled back and were coming back quickly. They would still stay off the front for a little while longer on Mountain. Once the catch was made, the speed went back up nicely all the way to the light. Bike Doctor, The Gopher, IanForth, The Full Nalini, a new guy on a Fondreist, Chris C and a couple of others were responsible for the speed. Near the light IanForth jetted off the front, causing a reaction but it was handled quickly.
     Some excitement happened on Moss Farms when 4 riders went clear right away ( Benje, IanForth, Guido, and Daniel Caridi ? ). Eric M started to bridge the gap, no doubt recognizing the threat. A couple of guys in the pack ( The Full Nalini, Tall John, Nuemotion ) responded but mostly everyone stayed at tempo. Eric M was just about up the the group when they started to slow slightly. Just then the Gopher, Yelle!Snoop, Nuemotion, Hunter P and the Bike Doctor charged off the front, leading the whole pack back up to the group single file. Some traffic in the corner kept the peleton at bay as the leaders and the chasers sorted out who would charge up the hill to Marion. Chric C and Joe K came up from the field and led all thru the corner. They would stay dangling off the front for a little while. Bike Doctor and Nuemotion, Little T and Hunter P led the rest up and it was all together heading by the industrial park. The next one to animate was Yelle!Snoop as he: A) nearly chopped off the sausage and B) wound it up for the run-in to the light, stretching things out behind him. As the single file front hit came up to the light, it was green. The front went thru as it was going yellow and someone mid way back slammed on the brakes, causing the back half to stop for the red. Probably just as well, seeing as how it would have been pretty blatant for the sizable group. Up front Todd H commanded the front to wait and so the front waited. Once the peleton was back on, Mike McG moved up and got things going along with Steve Grey, Tall John & Tall Dennis. From there the pace stayed decent on Mount Vernon. An effort by Aidan and Chris C nearly broke a small group free ( Aidan, Chris, Guido, Hunter P ) but instead it just served to keep the pace high going into the false flat. Nuemotion and Stevesy got things going up the incline and midway thru, Quadzilla jumped hard on the left, taking along Hunter P. He hammered out a 75 yard gap for the 2 of them but the pack behind responded at the top and reeled them in soon after. CXC Chris (?) was there up front after the reconnect along with Aidan, Mike McG, the Gopher and Nuemotion. From there the ride settled down a bit as everyone was content to follow Aidan for half a kilo.
     On the lead-in to the corner, IanForth moved up along with Steve Grey, French Casey a couple of others. Chris C jumped across the gap and legitimized it. Others were quick to respond and cover up holes but the very front of the ride was well up the road on the single-file line of riders going thru the corner. IanForth, after a good lead out from French Casey was all-in and soon rode off solo toward the hill. Behind, the pace was steady and there were a lot of riders up front looking to have a go for this last sprint on the year. IanForth would get caught just on West St as a huge group of guys moved thru the corner and started winding it up for the sprint. Steve Grey stayed well up there as the favorites were 5-7 bikes back. After some last hard pulls from Chris C, Yelle!Snoop, the Bike Doctor ( on a CX bike YEEEEAAAAAA! ) and Tall John...... Little T and Hunter P jumped for the sprint... Problem is that Stevesy was still up there and had jumped a several seconds earlier, not quite sprinting but flying none-the-less. It went down to the wire with Little T and Grey with Grey getting the prize on ballsy points. Hunter P, Chris B and Jacinto close behind in that order.
     On the backside, the sprinters seemed ready to roll on but red lights kept that from happening. Hacker was able to rejoin the ride. Things settled down for a while and the next guys off the front were all the way up onto Atwater St when The Gopher, Dillon P, IanForth, and a new set of calf-muscles in a Stage 1 kit rolled off the front. Yelle!Snoop also joined up and that group was allowed to roll but once the hill by the overpass bit in, the group split up just in time to be caught by the pack, led by Hacker, Danny C and Young Suto. Peleton agrupado for the rest of the way to the light on 322, over the light, onto Peck lane, past Peck ln, up to Route 10, onto Route 10, up the hill so on and so forth. Tall John and Hacker were trying to pull off gaps at a couple of different points but never made it far. A red light at the top of the hill slowed everyone down and offered a reset. Another red light little later on as well. Meanwhile, somehow, Hacker had kept on his onslaught and was off the front and making green lights the whole way. For the Stop n Shop sprint point ( to the light at the top the hill just before the plaza ) it was Guido, Benje and a couple of others who paved the way for Mike McG and then Little T, who was able to squeeze past another crowded run-in and get it over the likes of Yelle!Snoop, Dillon P, Chris B, CXC Chris (?) and a couple of others.
       Besides Hacker off the front of course, but seeing as how he re-joined after his flat, doesn't count, depending on who you talk to. 
     Going thru Cheshire, IanForth tired to snooker the group and jetted off. Eric M, Hunter P and Bike Doctor were there to match. Red lights would kill that effort though. From there it was uneventful heading back into Hamden. For the finale ( not even gonna mention all the late-to-the-party pack fill who decides to show up for the last 2k ) the picture perfect trio of Little T, Mike McG, and Eric M fought for the sit-sprint finish with T getting it by half a foot length. Up the hill went the usual guys who like to finish the ride off proper road race style.. On a hill, up to the top, full sprinting allowed. Hunter P got a head start and held it over Chris B, Mountain Man, Tall Dennis, Dillon P, C-Dale Rick and one or 2 others.