The Sleeping Giant Ride

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

Tuesday the 12th

The Days are Numbered

September is here to to stay and that means that this week was time foe a shortened loop. NHGP is this Friday which meant it was dress rehearsal for a couple of the SGR riders that are taking to the start line in Downtown New Haven. 

After the ride left route 10, Jason Williams at the front pushing the pace. Turner F and Sean M as well. The ride proceeded on though without much incident and the pace was normal. At one point there both Tom K and Tom C were out in front by few meters. The two Toms were brought back by Turner F, Hunter P and Big Red.  

Halfway down Mountain Rd, Dan Smith attacked and got a gap. Turner went to the front and brought it back over a minute or two. When the catch was made, Hunter P counter-attacked and created a gap going towards the light. 6 or 7 reacted quickly enough that they were close, and closing in, by the intersection. The light was green for the approach, then yellow with 30 meters to go. Hunter P had a (shrinking) gap and went through just after it turned red. Behind Matt Z was a bike length or two off the front of the chase and 4 or 5 bikes behind HunterP. Sensing what was about to happen, he had jumped to get across, or at least jumped to make some room from the Rest. The Rest slammed on the brakes. The remaining 10 or so riders of the peleton were 2 seconds behind and everyone had their foot down in a few moments. 

Matt Z and Hunter P held their gap all the way to the Greenhouse Climb.

Behind the pack had some good efforts, but occasional attacks hurt the rhythm of the chase. Chris C would drop his chain near the industrial park. Sean M stopped with him, and those two would shortcut back on to the ride as it came back south.

As everyone hit the Greenhouse climb, from certain angles the two up front could be seen off in the distance. Little T attacked right from the bottom. Sean C went with him initially. Soon Sean M and Turner F bridged up, making it 4 on the early slopes. The pace was pulling back Matt and Hunter P.

Everyone in the chase traded attacks and the gap steam-rolled shut. Sean C attack. Turner attacked, then Little T jumped the last bit to close it down. Up front. Hunter P was pulling all the way to make sure the two would make it to the sprint line. They did, and Matt Z rolled through the line first, followed by Hunter P and then Little T. It all came back together after that, including the rest of the peleton.

From there on in, it was hard riding all the way in. Little T gave Sean C a lead out for the final sprint. T jumped from the last intersection, up and over the first riser. Sean Cahill was able to jump to take it. Behind, TC 2nd, and Big Red rolled over the line in 3rd.

Great ride everyone!

Tuesday the 5th

"Up! Up!" (I need to get my self-esteem up)

Summer is on it's way out as evidenced by the smaller field out tonight. Just 16 or 17 depending on when you took role call.

Once the pace got going off route ten, Humble Paul was all over the front of the ride, attacking a couple of times and holding a gap for a several hundred meters at a time. Behind, the guys what would normally be attacking were not. Towards the end of Mountain Rd Turner F and Dan Smith would push off the front but no one was letting that get very far. Hunter P also had a dig for the light, but it was red which brought it all togehter for Moss Farms.

Things picked up a bit on Moss Farms, with Little T, Turner, Jason Williams, Hunter P, Dan Smith, Humble Paul, and a couple of others pushing the pace off the front. Running towards the light on 322, Hunter P attacked hard, taking Sean Cahill with him. The light was red though so it was all together heading onto Mount Vernon.

Turner F and Sean Maher were pushing the pace on Mount Vernon early on and it looked like they would inspire a breakaway but there was enough push from the pack to keep it together. Onto Welch and the turnaround where there was not too much pressure on the front. Sean Cahill pushed off the front 400 meters from the hill and he carried a decent gap through the corner. Behind, Little T launched it at the base of the hill, taking Hunter P with him. Turner F also jumped off the front shortly after in chase. Little T and Hunter P would catch Sean C halfway to the sprint, and soon Turner was there to make it 4. The light before the sprint turned red and stacked a couple of cars up, so the sprint was negated.  

The surge was big enough against a peleton depleted enough to make for a huge gap. The four stayed on it, caught a light and, pushed thru another near the I84 exchange and was gone. Dan Smith pushed off the front charging to the sprint and stayed on it on the downhill to get into the break.

So 5 riders were off the front and would not be caught again. Back in the " peloton" it came down to six or seven guys working but they were pretty beat. Sean M and Jason Williams were doing a fair amount of work with Humble Paul, Dillon P.  

Up front, the break was growing the gap. Sean C attacked a couple of times, only to be brought back by Hunter P or Dan Smith. Heading onto Cheshire St after West Johnson, Turner attacked off the front and was allowed to go. He would make it the entire way back into Hamden alone but was in sight nearly the whole way.

Turner was first up the Greenhouse climb, with Hunter P coming in next. Past that there were no friendships being made in the small chase group.

Small attacks and surges were the norm. Dan Smith got popped going up that little rise on Boulder. Sean C attacked hard up Tuttle, and from there it was cat and mouse between Sean and Little T. T took it to the line, but of course it was all behind Turner F, who made it solo but within sight the entire time.

Tuesday the 29th

He Spit On My Shoe!

 The rich tapestry of life continued with this week's SGR. A medium sized group left the lot and was in for treat tonight, as the long-loop nears the end of its run.

Once again it was Steve B and CW leading the early charge. The first attack of the evening came from Turner F, who snuck away on one of the early corners and was allowed to roll. Turning onto Mountain Rd. Little T jumped across the gap using a car to tow himself halfway up the gap, but it wasn't enough to get all the way. That lit the chase up behind and soon it was all back together again for the rest of Mountain Rd.  Brian O had another dig at the front in a counterattack, but that didn't last long.

As the group came up to the light at the end of Mountain Rd, It was green. Everybody was correctly anticipating it turning yellow, and sure enough, it switched as the ride came up to <100 meters. In famous do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do fashion, Chris C rolled through the yellow light just as it was turning red. He was the only one from the front. Close behind, Steve B, Turner F, Dillon P hit the brakes bringing the group to a stop. Or, so it would seem.....

From 10 guys back, Little rolled through thru at an angle with Hunter P on his wheel. Everyone with a foot down started cursing the trio out.

The light ran it's course and it wasn't too long before the group got thru the intersection but the escapees were well gone so it would seem.

Up the road, it wasn't smooth sailing for the breakaway.
Hunter P: "I'm not working, the entire group has no business being there, passing others who stopped at the light"
Little T: " I thought the front was rolling thru the light. It looked like guys were accelerating (just before they slammed on the brakes)"
Chris C: "It was yellow! F you and your principles (and safety.... and manners... and the reasonable use of a recognizable American dialect... And for god sakes, stop at the lights when you're leading 30 other guys through (wink wink)"

Hunter P let Chris roll away, and Little T agreed. Everyone (except for Chris C) was back together by the light on 322. The pace on Mount Vernon was steady but unimpressive as it seemed no one was in a hurry to chase down Chris C. In about a kilometer he was in sight, and in another kilometer it was all back together again. Then the attacks started from Turner F, and Tri-Guy Fecik, Dan S, Brian O and others.

At some point, Turner and Chris C had words about what had happened eariler at the light. There may or may not have been some saliva-sliders pitched from Turner F in Chris' direction. Crowell went (low-grade) nuclear at this. At a certain point, he admitted he was speechless at the action (to which everyone within earshot prepared their finest loogies)

Onto Welch where Steve B launched it off the front early on. Then a trio led by Sean Maher and Jon Fecik took off in chase. Steve B had a solid gap but was slowly coming back to Sean M and Jon Fecik. Behind, the rest of the pack was going slow, with Turner F setting steady pace into the slight headwind. Then, USAC official and vintage SGR rider Bruce McG came roaring through the front of the chase on his e-bike. That got things going real fast, and soon it was strung out. Steve B was not going to be caught. The other chasers would have been caught by the top of the hill, but for a bit of traffic, and some stern words behind Bruce to not sprint off the wheel of the e-bike.

So, the question is how to approach the electrical assist when it's around? Being the purist group of dickheads that the SGR is, ebikes have not been a topic yet. But the future is electric, so leave your vote in the new poll.

It all came back together on the backside, and the ride back towards Cheshire was uneventful. The next attacks were from Dan S, Sean M, and Jon Fecik. They hit it on Atwater St and rolled off the front. The light at 322 was red though. That trio kept on it a couple of times. Surging after the light on route 10 as well. By then, everyone was wise to it, and it was altogether heading into the greenhouse climb. Big Red had a dig, Chris C pushed the pace up the climb, Turner F sat near the front. Brian O was the troublemaker this time, and he rolled off and built enough of a gap to take it. Little T, locked in with the chase that didn't happen jumped late and just missed coming around Brian O at the end. Steve B also sprinted and was third through the line.

The e-bike was back for the final few miles, and Bruce surged hard up the climb on Tuttle, which broke off a small group containing all the strong guys. From that, Little T took the finale, with Turner F and Brian O following up.

Tuesday the 22nd

As He Says, Not Does

Good weather meant the return of the 25-plus crowd for the sleeping giant ride. The pace getting going was average until Steve B and Erin Rand hit the front trying recreate the breakaway of last week. Chris C and Sean M were wise to to the early moves, and it stayed together. Steve B accelerated a couple more times, and each time Turner F and Erin R were there to play defense. The most successful early break came when Steve B and Chris C rolled off the front through an early intersection, in a  questionable move that put the rest of the pack into the path an on coming car. The irony of it being Chris C was easily found by even the dullest of SGR regulars, and many in the pack spent the next 20 seconds cracking jokes.

With Turner patrolling the front like a mako, the two up the way had a gap the entire time into Mountain Rd and through it. Behind it came down to Dan Smith, Joe K, Hunter P, Rich N, Cedric and maybe one or two others putting in the chase work. The gap was coming down by the end of Mountain Rd and the red light sealed the deal and brought it all back together.

 Onto Moss farms where Hunter P, Turner F, and J Fesik the Tri guy all had solid pushes on or off the front. Going into the chicane Little T hit the front and he had TCC and Fecik up there pushing the pace, but it stayed together all the way to the light.

Through the detour, Hunter P attacked, and AlejetHuber took off with him. Then Turner F hit it hard and by the top of the climb, a small grenade had gone off the pack, and riders were everywhere. Hunter P led down back toward Marion on the way and a handful of riders close to the front followed. Another handful of riders took the Roseanna Rd shortcut, which dumped them out onto Mount Vernon 5 seconds in front of the strongest riders (who were no-doubt thinking they had a gap). The "break" turned into a chase and in kilo or two it was back together, however a few stragglers who went with the leaders but could not close the early gap to them would get caught out and dropped for the night, or have to shortcut back on West St.

The run down Mount Vernon was standard stuff. Steve B attacked once more halfway to the turnaround, and then Sean Cahill timed his jump across perfectly. Those two hit the corner for Welch with a 7-8 second gap and had a good chance for the sprint. There was not much of an early chase, and the gap was up as the hill and corner loomed. Behind, Little T jumped hard at the base of the climb and was able to get to the two leaders. Sean C jumped along and those two went to the line with Little T nabbing it. Steve B was between the duo and the pack, and it would all came back together on the backside.

The next action was on Atwater, where Justin Hardwick jumped hard before the hill under the highway. Then Hunter P jumped hard on the hill and those two went to work holding a gap to the light. The light was red, but Hunter P slipped thru between cars, Justin held up and the pack was right there. The red light lasted for another 30 seconds. That, plus the ramp back up to speed gave Hunter P a cushion up the road. The chase was slow moving through to the next light on route 10, but it picked up after that.

Too little too late though, as Hunter P was able to hold the gap (and slip through lights) to the end and finish in front by that same 30 seconds.

Little T cleaned up the sprints from the pack.


Tuesday the 15th

The Break Gets It

We had a few guests of honor out tonight. Matt A from Greenwich ride fame, John Daut, and the return of Damien the French Wonder Roy! They were treated to a steady ride today because all the 'stangs were up the road in a break.

Hunter P attacked as soon as the ride turned off route 10, Big Red went with him, and the Steve B and Little T surged up. Then Turner F came up. The last to join was Dan Smith. Big Red dropped back early on, and that left 5 up the road. 

The gap hovered at 7-10 seconds for a less than km. Up hill onto North Brooksvale, the leaders hit it hard and were gone. They rolled through the light at the end of Mountain Rd and that was all that was needed. 

Turner F went for the first sprint, but Little T ended up getting it. For the greenhouse climb sprint, Little T and Steve B fought it out. Little T got it by less than a bike length. The leaders stayed together. Behind, the peleton was moving steady. Unimpressive pulls from a bunch of riders and no one was interested in the sprints. Many red lights slowed it down. Even still, it was down to just 12 or so by the end. 

Up front, Steve B had chain issues and dropped back after the sprint, leaving four to finish it up. Hunter P took the final sprint in front of Little T.

Tuesday the 8th

Smaller field as the final Tuesday Night Crit at Rentschler Field was going on.

Points run down:

Turnaround sprint:
Little T
Sean Cahill
Tri Guy Fecik

Greenhouse Sprint:
Little T
The skinner Sean... Sean Maher

Final Sprint:
Little T
Rich Nadeau
Sean Maher

Tuesday August 1