The fourteen of us: Erik, Ron, Ron, Peter, Robert, Alex, Ellie, Andy, Aaron, Ted, Ryan, Jeff, Michael (SGW), and Me (Steve), rolled out from City Park in Plymouth and just began to settle into an easy warmup when Andy flatted. A quick 30 minute rear wheel tube change later and we were back to turning pedals. Umm…never mind.
The route was 68 miles and 6,400 feet of climbing, with 5,000 ft of that total coming in a 32 mile segment from Pardee Reservoir to the corner of Shake Ridge and Fiddletown roads an agonizing three miles above Daffodil Hill – that’s 156 feet per mile.
As with any group ride of more than ten riders, there’s always going to be a delay or two; we had four such events, and that will break up the rhythm of the ride a bit, however, with reflection, these events revealed a lot about this season’s team.
For each event guys rallied to assist, offer a wheel, and work to bring the group back together. When the climbing got hard and the ride segmented, I witnessed teammates finding each other, regrouping, sharing the work, encouraging/motivating each other in a fashion that seems to me would be best coined as “easy grace”.
And while the ride characteristics were as advertised – my normalized power was exactly 200 watts and I didn’t record a single Strava PR on this route – we did manage to work in a little fun on the final fifteen mile descent down Fiddletown road into Plymouth. Peter went to the front pushed the pace to 50-ish mph, and gradually whittled the lead group down to just four riders (Pete, Alex, Ted, Steve).
We went so hard down that hill following Pete that after about 8 miles Ted put hand up and pulled right. I thought he had a flat and stopped with him to assist. He unclipped and started to dismount when his leg sprung-out like a dog at fire hydrant?! “You alright?” He didn’t say anything, just stared at the ground for a bit. His leg retracted, then he remounted and started riding. Chatting after the ride he told me he cramped up bad and his leg just got stuck in that position when attempting the dismount. I don’t know where you’re from, but that right there is funny!
Umm…ok, back to never mind. MOJO RISIN, the infamous anagram of Jim Morrison fame. You know, take all of the letters from “Jim Morrison”, rearrange them and you get “Mojo Risin”. I like puzzles, so I took the letters for “Adam Andelin” and created an anagram and I got this: “Adam is Andy”. Wow, I didn’t see that one comin’. I took it a step further and made an anagram from “Andy Anthony Andelin” and came up with this gem: “On the seventeenth day of our Lord in the year two thousand eighteen Andy will flat three times on the Team Sierra Nevada Reliable Racing team ride”. Spooooooooky.