Last day of school - finally! Now I have more time to ride and write stupidly long blog posts. I celebrated by going out Saturday morning to get my legs ripped off. I joined the Wilderness Perk 8 a.m. ride - usually a nice, conversational ride at a moderate pace. That was great for me - I was looking for a decent length ride, but not too hard as I had a ton of yard work and other chores to do in the afternoon to get ready for my son's graduation party. I was under strict instructions from the boss to not get so tired that I couldn't do my honeydo list. As the weather was good, a bunch of riders showed up - most of them racers from team Kaos and team Highgear. A few of the teamFIRE riders as well - I think I remember seeing Gravy, Janna, Kevin M., Nicol, and maybe one or two others who I'm not remembering. It was a large group, so it's hard to remember.
Anyway, we took off heading for Sprague and then turning west and riding towards Crete. I took a spot towards the front third of the pack and settled in for the ride. Things got serious when we turned off of hiway 33 to head towards Sprague - and stayed that way as we rode towards Bluestem. Just before my turn at the front I glanced down at my computer to make sure I was maintaining the same speed when I took my pull - it read 23 mph and we were going up a shallow incline at the time. We had been going that same speed for about 5-6 miles before I took my turn at the front somewhere around Bluestem. I took a short pull, and then drifted to the back of the pack as we were going up a hill - unfortunately my timing was bad, and I got onto to the wheel of a rider who was in the process of getting dropped. About five others were getting gapped as well - I saw Nicol start to get dropped, but she got on another rider's wheel and started to work hard to get back to the group. I had two choices; either put out a big effort to get on Nicol's wheel to catch the group - or sit up and take it easy the rest of the way.
With my wife's admonition ringing in my ears, I took the easy choice and sat up. David R. (who had already put in about 50 miles earlier that morning) was doing the same, looking for Bill G. who had been dropped a little earlier. Eventually we were joined by Gravy and Jerry, and all but Gravy headed to Kramer instead of Crete, followed by a nice, conversational ride home. Even with the easy pace on the way home, the average speed at the end of the ride was over 18 mph for about a 43 mile ride.
I had never ridden to Kramer before - always turned right or gone straight into Crete. I enjoyed the "Kramer, next 3 exits" sign. Click on the picture to see the sign.