North Winds + First Long Loop = Weird ride.
Don't put the fleece away just yet kids. Winter makes a comeback for the SG ride tonight. The crowd was a little on the light side due to the weather but once the ride got going everyone seemed to forget about it. Once the roads opened up on the way north, the winds kicked in and slowed the ride down quick smart. Chris C was one of the first to attack for the night along with Guido and Hunter P, but the Yalies tracked that down faster than a Chinese Zombie. From there the Yalies, Hacker, Chris C, the usuals. all tried their hand at lifting the pace and getting a gap but the rest of the ride wouldn't have it.
Moving onto Mtn rd, Little T jumped up and away and a PCCW went with him ( Paul Casey ) Chris C and Tall John also made their way up there but again, the gap was closed before long. Moss Farms was again Hacker's launch pad, this time he was joined by a couple of riders before Yalie Matt and Nicky G started the chase/bridge. That brought the ride back to gruppo compacto but it still managed to be strung out going in the Chicane. Coming out of the chicane, some drifting bikes, surging riders, and overlapped wheels made Guido pull out the cyclocross moves as he went grass-ward to avoid going down in the high speed corner. He had to wait for the pack to pass before getting back on the road and was dropped in a blink of an eye. But no one got hurt....
The ride was sedate for a while after that. Lot's of guys punching into the wind but it was like riding thru a quicksand wall. There was no beating it. Little T tried again on the start of Mount Vernon. Chris C was up there too. Thomaas B could be seen along with Todd H up front. As the false flat on Mount Vernon came up, the Bandana Bandit from Central wheel took off, but was swallowed up after burning matches out in the wind. There was times when the ride was getting downright slow. The gutter-to-gutter wind dodging made for some tense moments but everyone stayed upright.
Heading to the turn-around, Hacker lifted the pace with a few hundred meters before the corner, but was promptly joined by everyone and their mother. He kept on it after making the turn onto Welch and this time took a gap and went ot work on it. Behind, the Yalies played musical chairs with the front of the chase, trying to decide if they would chase, bridge, counter, or a mystery fourth option. The pace stayed high, stringing the field out as the next corner came up, yet Hacker held a 50 meter gap as the hill kicked in. Greg Ciocci ( good to see him back on the ride, despite the weird view he gave everyone on his wheel ) was the first to jump off the front in earnest. Chris C was next along with Hunter P. Ciocci was burnt up a little ways after the corner onto West St, leaving Chris C to take over the chase. Hacker kept his gap up front. Despite a monster pull from Chris C, giving Yalie Spence and Hunter P a great leadout, Hacker made it to the mailbox first by a few feet, proving a near do-as-he-pleases strength.
On the backside, the Yalies smelled a chance, were pretty much all accounted for, and had Hacker to help, so that made a group of about 5 racing to get the jump on the rest of the ride. Red lights going over 84 stopped that from being the case though.
Once past the double corner and light, it was Tall John, Hacker, a couple of Yalies, A couple of Central Wheels, and maybe one other that jumped with the help of the now vigorous tailwind. Their efforts split the field for a bit with Chris C, Todd H, Thomaas B and Joe K making the jump up on the hill going underneath the highway. The subsequent speed was high. The front group was going balls out for the the light, which turned green at the last moment. There was a car waiting to go there at the intersection, forcing the group to squeeze right. There was some gravel in the road and when Hacker hit the brakes hard, he went over the bars. Everyone stopped to make sure he was ok. No real damage it seemed. The Scott Foil ( available at Cheshire Cycle ) was also no worse for wear, despite being flipped on itself.
The ride slowly got going after that. It wasnt until well onto Peck Ln that the pace went up again. Chris C and Hunter P took off with a gap that they held to the top of the hill on Route 10 by Cheshire Park. They got caught up by a red light, giving the field a chance to erase any difference. From there it was just fast riding up front. Hacker, apparently not phased by his incident, tore off the front along with some Yalies ( Spence, Nick G... The 2 most dangerous ivy leaguers? ). This time, Elm City showed solidarity, working togother to stay off the hard charging field. Hacker was given a great leadout and easily rung up #2 on the night.
Behind, there were a couple of guys who tried to close the gap but it was too little too late. Little T found himself up front enough to join the leaders and when the peleton slowed a bit for red light in the center of Cheshire, it was game on for the front group. They would be gifted another red light to the peleton by the high school and it was pretty much game over by then. 2 Yalies, the Bandana Bandit, Little T and Hacker up front with a tail wind is pretty tough to top.
The field would try. Guido drove hard once past into Hamden, Chris C, Chris B and a couple others as well. But it was all in vain as up front the pace was high enough to dispatch the Central Wheel rider en route to the final kilo, where Little T went over the top of Hacker, keeping him from the Hat trick. A couple of guys went up the hill for the tough finish. Blah blah blah.
Good ride everyone. Let's use a little more care next week eh? We are all of course just riding for fun right?.... right?...................