Mendon ride

This week’s Wednesday night ride from Mendon Ponds Park was hugely different from last week.

First, it was 85° when I left the city today, instead of last week’s 46°. Blue sky, sunshine, little humidity and just a light breeze from the northeast. In short, a perfect night for cycling.

And yes, I remembered to put on my hills cassette before leaving. That made a huge difference on the hills tonight.

Last week only seven showed up, and I was the only one who rode to the ride. This week it was 25–30, and half a dozen of us rode to the ride. There were lots of chicks, and two incredibly cute guys.

We rode the club’s map #82, the Garnsey Grumble. It’s named that because the main 30-mile ride climbs up Garnsey Road to the highest point in the county. And people grumble about the climb. It’s steep. My car used to grumble about it.

As much as I need hill training, I also need to be able to ride home, so I took the 20 mile cut, through Powder Mills Park. So did the two incredibly cute guys, and one other.

We got in one good climb on this route, lots of rolling hills and a couple of long but not so steep climbs. And the view from the back was all the incentive I needed. The roadside scenery was nice enough too. This is horse country. so it’s open and green and dotted with little barns and stuff.

I hung with them up to three or four miles from the end. Then I just pooped out. I’m just not used to so much riding without stopping. Plus I really could have used a bit of refueling.

Back at the park, I thanked everyone for the ride and for letting hang on their wheels for so long. I promised to return the favor when I’ve worked up to it. Then I sat for while, drank, ate, and peed, then headed for home.

Leaving the park, I encountered a small herd of deer. I’m guessing on the order of two dozen. All but one were on the left side of the road, grazing. The one on the right watched me ride by before crossing behind me. How courteous!

The ride home is mainly downhill and since my left foot was bothering me—I think my shoe was too tight, or these long rides are showing up some fit problems with them—I coasted as much as possible and rode easy when I couldn’t coast. Even so, I arrived home averaging 16.6 MPH @ 83 RPM for the entire 42.81 miles.

This has me stoked. I’ve wanted to get to the 16–18 MPH range for rides like this, it’s the second one this week where I’ve done 16.5 or better.

The Monday Night Small Ring ride out of Full Moon Vista was real treat. Since everyone enjoyed it so much two weeks ago, we essentially repeated that ride. I near or at the front for the entire ride. Now, most of these people are racers and this is their recovery pace, but still. I wasn’t the one everybody was waiting for. And that makes me feel good.

The next three days are workdays, so I get very little extra riding in. I may take the long way to Presbytery tomorrow, and maybe I’ll ride after the meeting on Friday night.

Sunday, though, is the 40th Anniversary ride and picnic for the Rochester Bicycling Club. At 10am I’m going to ride the 58-mile Ten Parks Tour ride. With my miles to and from the start at Cobbs Hill Park, I’ll get my first metric century of the year in. Then there’s a dish-to-pass picnic at 5pm.

Bikerjohn is planning to drive in and join me on the ride. He’s been slowly working his speeds up on his Cruzbike too. Maybe we’ll both be able to hang with the group on this ride.

It will also be a good measuring stick for our preparedness for the Great Finger Lakes Bicycle Tour coming up in just two weeks. (Yikes!) I really want to do the Four Falls Tour on that Saturday. At 74 miles, plus the ride from the campground and back again, it’s going to be a real challenge. Here’s the elevation profile for that ride, courtesy of the STBC.

Oh, and plus, tonight’s ride pushed me into the top 1,000 riders for 2007 over at bikejournal.com. [links to my profile and ride log there] I won’t likely stay there for more than a few hours tonight, but since my goal for the year is to be in the top 25% and I’m presently in the top 18%, I’m really stoked about that too.