Safety check required?
It was one of those weird kind of rides tonight. The weather held out it and it was as nice as it been for any week so far this year. There was a decent size crowd out for the ride. Good to see Alec C back on the back after taking a few weeks to heal up after being "curbed" by a car. The usual suspects got things going once off route 10. Mike McG took a good pull to stretch things out thru the crap road section and that led to Owen F and Hunter P getting a gap that didnt last too long. Chris C stepping up in the role of bridge-ehh-chase-ehh-just-go-hard. From there things stayed quick up to Mountain Rd. A late surge on the initial risers there spit a group off the front. Mike McG, Hutner P, Paul Casey, a Bikers Edge rider and one other. Despite some good speed from the group it was brought back soon after. From there it was fast with the tailwind heading to the light. Late on Mountain, Dillon P kept the pace high at the very front for a little longer than what's usual for the ride, giving Hunter P a chance to jump off in a good spot to perhaps get the light. Along for the ride was Tall John and Special Ed. Sure enough the light showed green for longer than usual, probably thanks to the 2 cars that were there tripping the sensor. Hunter P, Tall John, Special Ed made it thru clean and in the gap to the peleton was Little T, Chris C, and Rory D. Those 3 squeezed thru the light and the rest of the peleton stopped and waved bye bye to the group of 6.
The leaders jumped right into breakaway mode, although even early on, a couple of the riders were skipping pulls. The pace up to 322 in the lead group was solid, if not slightly unimpressive. Behind in the field, the strong guys left in the group who were feeling left out got straight to to the task of upping the pace to try to mount a chase. Nuemotion, Guido, The CCB Toss-up, Jacinto and Mike McG foremost among them. The break was in sight as the peleton stopped for the red light on 322 but it was still going to take some strong riding to bring it back.
Nothing much to report on either side of the ride for the next few miles. In the peleton, a couple of noteworthy turns up or off the front were had by Joe K, Nathan C, Yalie Adam and Ciocci. In the break, Special Ed, his own best client, apparently reached the prescribed riding for the day and decided to peel off halfway down Mount Vernon. That left the lion's share of the work to Little T, Chris C and Hunter P. No deal was struck approaching the turnaround, no breakaway truce made, so the speed went down as guys were eyeing each other or trying to collect themselves for the fireworks. The break was still out of sight on Mount Vernon, but once on Welch, the peleton could see the riders up ahead, which definitely put some more motivation in the pedals.
For the sprint, Chris C, Hunter P and Little T took turns with Hunter P ending up in front for the last section. He tried the ol surprise jump from a little too far away, off the front, and it was enough to get a quick gap on Little T with a solid 175-250 meters to go. T clawed back but a late surge kept Hunter P in front by half a bike. Behind, Mike McG has rocketed off the front and was alone for a while, quickly making up the gap. Joe K and Chris B tried to team up on the chase and that got the rest of the field going. The leaders slowed to led the rest of the break come back but instead of the 2 guys, it was the whole field bearing down and so gruppo compacto once again and the elusive long bomb breakaway stays out of reach for another week.
The ride back from there was uninteresting and slow-ish in the headwind. Chris C stayed up there and Guido rescued the pace at a couple of points heading back to 322. There was no full stop at the changing light there which made for some abrupt breaking, shouting and wheel molesting. Couple of guys went down but it was more like a mountain bike dab with a little game of twister thrown in. That slowed things down and it took a little while to get going again.... Long enough to not have anything to say about the ride till the Stop n Shop Sprint. Guido, Paul Casey and Mike McG were up there driving it along. Jacinto snuck up at the last moment and jumped hard, taking along Mike McG. Mike put in a good sprint but Jacinto get this one for the second week in a row.
The only interesting part of the ride back from there was the unscheduled pit stop the group made for Cheshire's tallest police officer. He kindly reminded the group that 2 abreast is the law and that anyone who rides a full Proteam kit with matching bike needs to have the legs ( and twitter followers ) to back that up. Seriously though, he makes a good point. Let's take this moment to thank whatever residents of Cheshire ,Southington, ( and their Police forces ) that put up with our crap every Tuesday night. You all are the best. We are just a bunch of sissy bike rides... And some of us can't even do that very well. Let's all try to ride more civil-like while in the center of town.
Back to the ride where it again took a while to get going. The finale was Little T up against Guido, who was a little late to the party. The Full Nalini, Thomaas B, Ciocci (?), Rusty, and Paul Casey were up there in the mix but Little T gets this over the hard charging German. He gets rewarded for this by promptly being taken out by the flying squirrel by the bike trail crossing. No real harm done. Though it was a weird way to end up a weird night. Up the hill Mountain Man and Tall Dennis started things out, Chris B took over, and then Hunter P sprinted all else to the top.