Don't get all lazy just yet...
Good sized group of guys and girls out tonight. Good to have Sarah W back out. It was also good to see Laura Summers out, no doubt putting up with the group's shenanigans for the sake of the upcoming CX season. Right away off of route 10 the Central Wheel boys were up and on attention with Riff Raff Ralph and J Lynn and Rory D hitting the front. That got things going right away and Chris C, Tall John, Tall Dennis, Hunter P and a couple of others made sure they didnt get too far.
The whole peleton made it's way onto Mountain Rd without too much drama as the pace stayed high enough to discourage attacks. Chris C tore up the first riser on Mountain Rd and had help from CT's very own Chris Froome impersonator, Sam Smith. Hunter P led it up the second set of risers and that led to a small group getting off the front. That was short lived though as Guido got to the front and had help in keeping the speed high going toward route 68.
Once onto Moss Farms, Hacker and Jacinto were setting tempo up front with help from JLynn, Neumotion, Hunter P, The Full Nalini and a couple of others. The pace stayed high and even with strong pulls from Little T and Hunter P approaching the Chicane, there were no real gaps behind. Heading up to Marion, there was a good sized group up front pushing the pace enough to create a gap. Sam Smith, Chris C, and Nuemotion foremost among them. Hunter P came up from the bunch along with Hacker and a couple of other riders and that served to sew things up despite the pace staying high up front. Hacker kept on the pressure along with Nuemotion going by the corner for the short loop, but it was pretty much all together going up to the light at 322.
Things got anyway past the light when a small group ( Hacker, Jlynn, Riff Raff Ralph etc ) took off approaching Mount Vernon. That got things going in the pack and it bunched up soon after. The pace all and all was decent down Mount Vernon. Things slowed down before the false flat for some reason but surges from The Gibertoni, Gregg F, Chris C, and the Full Nalini broke off a small group early on. That turned into a duo off the front, The Gibertoni and Hunter P. Those 2 got a gap and ran with it. Behind in the pack, there was a couple of incidents with the pylons and gravel in the road. Jacinto (?) hit a cone, and Hacker got hit with a flat tire. Up front the break stayed away for a few hundred meters but eventually broke down as a few guys attacked off the front of the chase to bridge the gap. It was soon after all together heading into the turnaround.
Coming up to Welch, The Central Wheel boys were leading a charge along with Sam Smith, French Casey the Bike Rhino on the Calfee (Name?) and maybe one other. Hunter P came across the gap last second, taking along Chris C. The front group didnt have much of a gap but solid work up front by JLynn, Sam Smith, Hunter P and Chris C extended the lead to about 50 meters by the base of the hill. Chris C charged off the front with Sam Smith and French Casey as Little T came across the gap on the hill. The initial chase work would fall on Hunter P and Little T, and those 2 couldn't make up their mind who would work. Others soon came up, Jacinto among them, in a good spot to pounce. Little T came off some wheels at the last moment as Chris C was putting in everything for the line. It went to the judge's box to decide who got it and it's going to Chris C who has been cantankerous as of late since his family stopped feeding him. He worked the hardest for it tonight.
On the backside it was civil and all together down to Atwater St. The pace stayed high as a bunch of guys were ok with doing the work up front. On the hill under the highway, Hunter P took off, taking along Paul Casey. Those 2 extended their lead despite a decent pace from the pack. There may have been some unmotivated-to-chase Central Wheel guys near the front, letting the duo keep off the front till the light on 322. It turned green just as the 2 leaders where coming to a slowdown, letting the 2 the now closing in pack thru as well.
The speed stayed high onto Peck thanks to the green light and it went a long way toward making tonight a record breaking fast long loop. Something like 12 riders now sit atop the Strava segment for the long loop thanks to the night's pace+favorable lights. On the riser for Peck as it was going single file up front, Paul Casey this time was the one to attack, taking Hunter P with him. Those 2 were back off the front and working hard to keep the gap for a while. It would eventually come back together at the top of the hill on route 10. From there the speed stayed respectable heading into the sprint.
Going past the one of the last lights ("HOLE!"), Dillon P hit the front and ran up a gap. The speed behind was good, but there was some shuffling of riders as guys looked around to see where they say in the pecking order. Dillon P hit the base of the hill with about a 50 meter gap and it was coming back fast. He managed to keep the gap solid enough on the hill to make Little T chase, along with a couple of other guys. Little T took it by a bike length with Dillon P rolling thru next.
The ride back thru Cheshire was pretty quick and pretty much all the lights were green, which was great. Nothing unusual for the ride back into Hamden. Pace stayed high and there were about 5 or 6 guys ready to duke it out for the sit n sprint. Little T had Jacinto on his six the final 70 meters and despite a good effort, T kept out in front.
Up the hill went only a couple of riders, and Christian, a regular on the Thursday night Cheshire Cycle Ride took the hill over Gregg F and Dillon P.... Although he may have had to take a shortcut earlier in the ride. In which case, his name will be scratched out of the trophy.
Great ride everyone! There has been talk of switching to the short loop next week, which is about right for tradition's sake. If you want to get into a heated debate over it ( or any other SG ride topics ) be sure to stop by the Funky Monkey this Saturday to support Tall John's GF, Kerri Powers, as she performs songs about cycling all night long*. Chris C will be there as opening act, doing his best drunken impression of Ben Affleck doing his best impression of Long-Lost-Rondo.
*Probably not true.... Which is a good thing.