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

Tuesday the 6th

Closing out the year the right way

    It could have been a boring night, as a re-route around the entire length of Mountain Rd was in order due to construction. It was decided to turn on Ward, get to Oak Ave and head down to get on to route 68/70 .5 mile east of where we usually come out. Most were no doubt thinking that it would be more of a casual ride but no so as the Cheshire guys animated and attacked thruout the evening. It was good to see Steve Suto back out on the ride. Right as everyone turned off route10, Dillon P attacked and got a gap that we would hold for 500 hundred meters or so. Alan B was there when he was being caught and then he went. Then, as everyone turned onto North Brooksvale, Hunter P attacked and drove up a gap that he held onto to another 500 meters. Behind, Big Red, Tall John, Chris C, Tall Dennis and a few others were doing most of the work to keep things together.
     As the ride turned onto Ward lane, Hunter P attacked again, this time with Big Red chasing but never quite covering the gap. As everyone got onto Oak, it was gruppo compacto and Chris C and Jordan L did a lot of the work as everyone barreled toward 68\70. With rush hour traffic in full effect, there was 7-8 cars stacked up waiting to turn in any direction. The pack got a friendly driver looking to turn off of 68\70 and French Casey literally rolled into the path of an east bound car to stop traffic completely for all. No doubt many motorist friends were not made tonight. The Cheshire guys had worked their way up to the front by then again and it proved to be big help as traffic was stacked up for ¼ mile. Everyone had to proceed single file toward Moss Farms and once there, Alan B and Joe K got things rolling again. Soon after it was just Alan B off the front with a 40 meter gap. Then Gregg F bridged up and the 2 were able to save their breakaway all the way past the chicane. In the front of the pack, it was Mike McG, The Sernyak, Chris C, Little T, Big Red, and a couple of others doing the work to bring it back.
      As everyone went up the rise to Marion, it was all back together again. After the corner, Joe K attacked and was quickly getting a gap going along with French Casey. Then Dave Hoyle, who had been lurking in the background, biding his time, shot up the road to bridge up to the 2 guys with a 100 meter gap. Hunter P was first to respond and that brought a handful plus some chasing up to the leaders. It was still strung out with a few gaps as everyone came up to the corner for the industrial park.... Joe K was still driving 20 pound tent pegs with 50 pound sledge up front. Once thru the corner, the pace slowed slightly, but Frnch Casey stayed rolling up front and that ensured that no one was going to get too much rest.
     With a few meters to the corner for West Johnson, Hunter P attacked as the paced came down a little bit. Again Big Red was there with him. Those two worked up a respectable gap up the rise after the corner. Behind, The Sernyak and Chris C had used the hill to springboard up to the leaders, making it four with a 40 meter gap. Once again, there was some traffic at the 4-way intersection for Peck lane and that brought it all back together again. Next to go was Joe K, who not so much attacked, but rather got to the front and just lit it up. A select group of the usuals were there and as everyone got toward the corner for Reinhard, there was a real-deal gap to everyone else. Just then Hoyle shot out from the front and power opened a gap. Low n behold though, he went straight instead of turning onto Riendhard. That pretty much slowed everyone down, which provided a brief reset before shooting up to the sprint point.
      It looked like there was going to be a bunch of guys ready to pounce on the sprint but it was pretty much Mike McG, Joe K, Hacker, Little T, Big Red, and maybe one or 2 more that had a chance. Little T got the better of all, getting thru the corner first. On the backside, Hacker drilled it briefly but nothing was escaping now that everyone's phasers were set to kill. Right away on Peck Lane, Hunter P attacked again, taking along French Casey. Those 2 were given a little bit of freedom at first amd they build up a gap that there were able to hold all the way to the first light on Route 10 (which was red). French Casey stayed on it going up the hill there (sight of Cheshire CX version 10.0 / November 14th).
      There was some reshuffling up front after the climb, and a couple of guys were looking inches from going all in toward Stop n Shop. Instead it stayed civil and fast. Again, a few guys were in position for the sprint, this time Hacker getting the best jump out of the pack. Little T was able to sit in the draft for a few seconds and then come around. It was a fight to the last couple of meters, with T prevailing again. From there it was all together thru Cheshire. Nice and fast to keep things safe.
Heading out of town, with traffic stacked up at most of the intersections, Alan B threaded the needle along with Gregg F and Hunter P to get thru a green light ahead of the rest. Those 3 build up a small gap and held on for a few hundred meters but the pack was breathing fire. French Casey was drilling it, The Sernyak was going hard, Big Red and the new guy on the BMC (name?), the Full Nalini as well. For the finale, Chris C and Mike McG rolled out their familiar good leadouts for the the benefit of about 6 guys. Right there was Hoyle. He timed it well and shot off the front with enough speed to build up an insurmountable lead.

     Awesome way to end out the year everyone. Sunday rides, for those who are not inclined to CX, are heading out on Sunday's at 10AM (or so we hear). The rest of you are smart to take a break from the crazyiness for a few months. See ya'll next year!

Tuesday the 29th

It’s the final countdown!

Just a couple more weeks of these shenanigans left kids. Despite the 5:30 start time, it was good to see a decent sized group out for the ride tonight. Things got going slowly, but then the pace turned fast with no one attacking. That all changed when after turning onto North Brooksvale, a mystery rider with a heavy accent in a Pro-team Giant team kit rolled off the front like it was ain’t no thing. Alan B gave chase, and then Ben Bruce and Chris C. Team Giant rolled on and despite a pretty stiff chase, was holding a 20-40 meter gap as everyone barreled toward the corner for Mountain Rd. Of course, the newbie went straight and missed the corner. Despite some efforts to get his attention, he kept going, seemingly oblivious to the miscue. Bummer. He do doubt would have continued to keep everyone on their best behavior had he stayed with the bunch. Getting back to the action, some traffic held up most of the peleton, but Ben Bruce, Gibertoni and Big Red slipped thru the corner first and held a gap up the first climb. They stayed away for a few hundred meters more, then Hunter P and Alan countered hard. That blew up the pack for the remainder of the way down Mountain Road. There were a couple of chase groups with Big Red and Nuemotion being the first 2 to bridge up. The 4 in front worked well on the pavement they had left. The potential and horsepower were there, but the light was red at the intersection and everyone else caught back on.
      Moss Farms was fast, but uneventful. A couple of gaps opened up but were covered quickly. Chris C led everyone up the rise to Marion, and that was enough to split a small group of 5 or 6 off the front, but the gap was small and it was covered very soon after. The pace stayed high into the industrial park, with Alan B taking a long pull on the front. Once everyone got thru the corner, it slowed a bit, and no one attacked off the front. Alan B was back up there in a couple moments, pushing the pace. He had Ben Bruce, Big Red, Mike McG, Chris C and a couple of others that were willing to work. A small gap opened up but as everyone closed in on the corner for Reinhard, it was back together.
      The pack rolled up the rise there and then down all together. Little T and Hunter P were the only ones to jump at the sprint. Little T led it out initially and then Hunter came around midway up the long drag to the corner. Little T traded into the draft then both were in full flight. Little T edged Hunter P out with about 30 meters to go before the corner. Despite the healthy gap on the pack, it was all back together before turning onto Peck Lane.
      Tall John rode off the front as everyone was pausing to collect themselves and he was off like a light. It took a little while for the chase to get going but the big guy was up the road, racking up as much as 120 meters or so on the field. The gap came down by the end of the rise up Peck Lane but John still had 10 seconds turning onto route 10.
      Alan B once again hit the front hard on rise there by Cheshire Park (site of Cheshire CX 2015 – The 10 year anniversary!). Alan pulled the pack up at 27mph and the gap was coming down to Tall John quickly. At the light by Maple Ave (“MANHOLE!”) Tall john slipped thru a green light whereas the rest were held up by red. That was more than enough for him to take the Stop n Sprint in commanding fashion. Good to see Interlandi can still throw down!
      He would end up getting caught thru the red lights of Cheshire, leading to gruppo compacto for the fast and dimly lit haul back into Hamden. For the final sprint, it was a close seated battle between Little T, Gibertoni, and Ben Bruce. Depending on where you are going to draw the line, it was Little T with the early lead, with a charging Ben B coming around Gibertoni directly in front of the light and intersection.

Tuesday the 22nd

When “clear” actually means ”CAR”

     Everyone was keyed up to race the dark on the short loop today. It was a larger than anticipated crowd as well. Soon after the ride turned off of route 10, Hunter P started going hard at the front. Soon after Nuemotion and Alan B followed suit and just like that the ride was on. The pace started respectable thru the opening 20 min, but no one was able to get any gaps.
     Hunter P timed the light on 68/70 well, leading to him rolling off the front for a bit on Moss Farms. Ben Bruce, Chris C, Nuemotion and a few others gave chase and brought it all back together. Then Joe K moved to the front and ramped up the pace to the point that no one was pulling thru on him. That strung it out “single file for a mile” and only the corner into the chicane brought any relief. Chris C hit the front heading up to Marion but everyone slotted in behind without trouble.
     As the ride barreled toward the corner for the short loop, a few guys were moving up and looking for a better spot in the pack, but the pace didn’t really pick up once everyone got into the industrial park. After the turn onto West Johnson, Chris C jumped off the front with a strong attack. Only Big Red went with him, those 2 started working together to get a gap and they had a solid 80 meters by the time they went thru the 4-way intersection on Peck Ln. The leaders went thru quickly, the pack had to come to almost a full stop as there were cars on all sides waiting to get thru. That was enough to seal the deal for the Chris C and Big Red, who had enough in the bank that the few guys who charged off the front on the hill weren’t going to close the gap. UP front, Chris C waited for the final 150 meters before kicking it into high gear and leaving Big Red for the sprint point. On the backside, it all came back together again.
     The next batch of attackers would be The Sernyak, Rob Dux and Big Red. They rolled away early on Peck Lance and didn’t look back for nuthin. It took a little but, but the chase got going, anchored by the Cheshire guys. The leaders worked well together, building up a gap and holding it all the way onto route 10. If it weren’t for the red light at the base of the first hill there, they may have rolled away on evening.
      Alan B led the pack up the hill there at a good pace and it stayed fast all the way to the base of the sprint. Mike McG was there, Ben Bruce, Big Red, the Full Nalini, Hunter P etc etc. Little T jumped from 4 or 5 bikes back and took along Nuemotion. There were a couple of others who went for it but it was quickly down to those two, with Little T edging out Nueomtion by less than a wheel length. Good sprint!
      The ride back into Cheshire was the same ol same ol. Somewhat dicey, pretty fast, everyone (probably too many!) pitching in at the front. With 600 meters to go, Hunter P jumped off the front and quickly got a 60 meters gap. The final push was one tho, riders charged past Dillon P and Mike McG, among the other last guys to offer a leadout. Hunter P hung on till nearly the end, but right in the final moments, Big Red came by to edge it out by ¼ wheel length as the 2 flew thru the intersection at 30+mph.

Great ride everyone. The start time may move to 5:30 next week. Stay tuned.

Tuesday the 8th

The ride finally starts to heat up just in time for the long loop to end
    The parking lot started out on the empty side but by 6:01 there was a decent sized group out for the ride. It started rather ignominiously, with the usual players out front setting a good pace for the early part. There was no real action besides the occasional Cheshire Cycle rider rolling off the front with a small group, and another playing “defense” behind. Everyone hit the light for route 68\70 together. From there, onto Moss Farms, Hacker, Nuemotion, Alan B, and a couple of others tried briefly to get off the front but it all stayed together.
    After the riser up to Marion, Big Red and Chris C jumped off the front and started with a pretty good gap. Mike McG slammed that shut a little while after as the ride went by the corner for the industrial park (see you next week). Mike McG’s hard pull brought all back together again until the 322 crossing.
    On the other side, Dave H and Big Red started rolling off the front and those two were soon joined by French Casey. Those 3 quickly built up a gap on Mount Vernon as the pack behind slowly started to come alive as it dodged and weaved in the crap road section. By the time the long false flat came up, the leading trio was holding it’s gap solidly. Behind, Henk, Nuemotion, Hacker, Chris C, Mike McG, Tall John, Special Ed, and a couple of others would chip in and keep the pace high, but not enough to seriously dent the gap.
    The leading trio hit the corner for Welch with a solid 20 seconds and it soon was evident that no one was going to be catching them before the sprint point. Still, Alan B ripped off the front right before the corner for West St, taking Ben Bruce, Chris C, Mike McG, Hacker, and a couple of others with him. It was enough to split the chase into 2 groups heading into the sprint point. Up ahead, Dave H and Big Red had left French Casey and were content to roll thru the sprint without contesting it. They kept up the gap on the backside, as the 2 chase groups recombined eventually. The leaders would have rolled on even further, but a red light corralled them and made it gruppo compacto.
     The trip back into Cheshire was standard stuff, Dave H was back at it up front, pushing on a couple of times and driving the speed up. Turning onto route 10, Alan B jumped off the front and lit it up going up the small hill there. Chris C and Kyle C responded, along with Big Red, and soon it was a group of 3 chasing down and eventually catching Alan in time to regroup for the Stop N Sprint. Behind, Hacker and Nuemotion tried briefly to start a rally, but the gap was too much.
     For further proof that everyone is getting soft, the breakaway once again rolled thru the sprint point without anyone contesting it. Everyone was soon after corralled again by another red light. From there, until the last kilometers, the pace stayed pretty high. Mike McG did a good job of sheparding everyone into some great pacing as the meters clicked down. For the finale, French Casey, dragged the field up to a select group of 5 or 6, led by Chris C and Mike McG. French Casey kept on the gas, giving a good leadout to Hunter P and the Full Nalini. All 3 went for the final prize on the night and it was Hunter P rolling thru first.

Great ride everyone! A few of you have been asking about Noah. He is out of his sling, should be fine without surgery, and is healing up pretty good. He just wants to get back out on his bike!

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