Mansfield Hollow

Out of Control10 Riders: Dave, Rick, Randy, Kyle, John, Arch, Doug, Jim, Mike, Jill

Lot’s of murmuring in the parking lot about wanting to ride slow, painful rides on Tuesday, everyone’s legs are hurting, want to take it easy tonight. Ok, I’m up for an easy pace, we’ve had a bunch of race pace rides lately, we’re due for a lazy ride. Doing the 20 mile loop so jump onto the dam, scoot over to the whoops to ride the lollipop across from the boat launch. Mike jumps out and front and sets a blistering pace, I’m behind him and I have to crunch the pedals to stay with him, he lets me pass on the hill and now I’m in front. Get to the top of the hill and the whole group is on top of me so I go a little faster, then a little faster still, and I’m killing myself in the front but everyone is still lined up right behind me. I thought everyone wanted to ride slow! We make the loop and head back to the boat launch. Lot’s of chit chat while Michael takes a nature break. Randy found a new bike, Arch is going up north, Dave’s circling like a roadie (not my words), blah, blah, blah. Ok, ride up to see if Michael is ok, he tweaks his bike real quick and we’re off. They all get behind me again and I decide to slow it down a bit, we’ve got 15 miles to go, so I encourage Arch to go, he disappears, then Kyle goes, then Randy, then Rick. Ok, I can relax a bit now. No barking dogs today at the road. Regroup on the bridge and I make sure I’m in the middle when we head out again. Scoot around the lake and get attacked by swarms of light-colored bugs on the pavement. Ride into wave after wave of enormous swarms. Seriously nasty. Say Hi to the expert guy on his road bike. Can never remember his name but always see him at the races. Pop back in by the dump, run into 2 crazy boxers after crossing the river. They make crossing the new wooden bridges quite challenging. Yap with Jim a bit, catch up with the group and head over to schoolhouse. This section is quick, everyone is warmed up and some of us get inspired by the terrain and start cranking. Lose Michael for a bit, he meets us at the road crossing before Wolf Rock. Oops. Another fast section so much for the slow ride, I forget that I’m supposed to behave and take off. Pass Rick and Jim and see Dave up ahead hanging on a tree. He sees me charging and takes off and we’re riding wheel to wheel. Oh, what fun I am having!!! He slows down slightly in the rock garden and I pass on the left. Huff and puff to catch up with Arch, I check my HRM – 189bpm. Ouch. Ok, I know I just got these 2 sections mixed up but I’m not sure anyone but Michael will notice. Over the stream which the beavers have entirely covered with branches, through the much, and up the blue. Catch up with Michael, Rick, John, Jim and Doug is right behind me. This is my favorite part, I love to race it – Arch, Randy and Kyle have already taken off so I throw out a challenge to the rest of the crew and give myself a little head start. Take a nice sideways leap off a perfect jumping rock and land in a tree, no injuries but I can see all the headlamps creeping up to me so I get back on and pedal, pedal till I get to the road. We finish up on the road, Rick breaks his chain so Kyle? tows him to the dam so he can fix it. We climb up the hill and it breaks again, the rest of the group bails and Doug, Dave, and I provide some company while Rick fixes the chain. Scoot back the easy way, straight shot back to the parking lot. 18.5 miles total. — Jill

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