Monthly Archives: July 2010

Nerac Earth Water Bottle Goes to the Tour with Rick

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Carlos Sastre autographs Rick's Nerac Earth water bottle

AMC ride in South Windsor

Riders:  Jill, Brian, Garth, Skip, Keith, Agatha, Pat, Mark, and many, many, more.

This ended up being 2 totally different rides for me.  The first ride I’m calling the “Where are your pants” ride, the 2nd I’m calling the “Silent Train of Pain”. I arrived early having already decided to try a different ride, the 5:30 ride has been a little on the wild side lately and I wanted to try going with a different group.  Of course as soon as the group starting forming I instantly wanted to go with them but wasn’t sure if I could hang, the rides have been averaging 21+ over the past few weeks.  So I sadly watched Skip, Garth, and Agatha ride away.   Brian, Keith, and I ended up heading out with Judy at 6.  The group was enormous and very squirrely, I was feeling very antsy and hoping that the group would split up into a more reasonable size (watch what you wish for!!!).  Oh, let me explain the ride name!  Early in the ride as 25+ of us in spandex (well – one guy had baggies on) were riding single file a driver slowed down and kept yelling out his window “Where are your pants, why aren’t you wearing any pants”.  I couldn’t stop laughing; the guy was seriously confused about our clothing.  I guess to a non-cyclist we look pretty ridiculous… Ok, the 2nd ride – after crossing route 195 in Somers a group of 7 guys took off the front and hammered the flat.  I got motivated and tried to branch up to them, it took every ounce of effort I had and finally hopped on just as they took a left.  After taking the left we realized the rest of the group was not behind us so one of the guys rode back but they were nowhere to be seen so we assumed they took an earlier left turn and decided to push on to try to catch them.  I looked at all the riders and didn’t know any of them except that they were fast and acknowledged to myself that I might be in a bit of trouble.  This is the “Silent Train of Pain” part.  I’m not quite sure how I was able to hang onto a wheel for the 20 miles back to the parking lot but I think the fear of being left behind was a strong motivator, we never did find the rest of the group.  We ended up with 42.25 miles with a 20.0 mph average.  And I wouldn’t go with the 5:30 group because they were aiming for a 19/20mph average!  Oops, guess I should have just ridden with them.  It’s healthy to go outside your comfort zone every once in a while; I think it improves your riding skills.  Or at least enhances your fight or flight response!  It ended up being a decent ride but I really hope Ed is back next week to lead it! – Jill

40 mile ride in Lyme, CT

Riders:  Keith, Doug B., Doug M., Pete, John Sattar, Janet, Jerry, Mike B., Nate, Jill

This is the 2nd annual ride that Doug B. has hosted out of his home in Lyme.  Last year only 3 people rode so I would say that this year there was a stellar turnout!  Doug’s house is the perfect venue, nice and shady with the lake close by for cooling off after the ride.  The humidity was so thick at 8am that it was difficult to breathe, the roads were still wet and the air was so humid I couldn’t tell if my jersey was instantly soaked from sweat or if it was from the moisture in the air.  Many of the Saturday Tolland Bike riders were present and a couple of locals that were probably psyched that they only had a 10 or 15 minute commute (it took me about an hour and 10 minutes, but worth the drive!).  The route was fantastic, mostly shaded, scenic and increasingly less humid.  About an hour into the ride the humidity started to fade and the roads started drying out.  On the first couple of steep hills we had to be careful not to stand because the rear tire would slip out.  There were some killer hills though, a handful in the beginning that I remember clearly and one drawn out double tiered hill toward the end.  Doug kept apologizing for the hills but I don’t think anyone really minded.  Many of the roads I remembered from riding with the Mystic Velo crew on Thursday nights, especially the stretch that goes through Devil’s Hopyard.  Riding this early in the morning was much safer and more peaceful than riding after work with the Mystic crew.  Other parts of the ride encircled the Stones Ranch property, we rode by the entrance on route 1 and along the property line that abuts the wooded part of the ranch.  I got to chat with everyone and thoroughly enjoyed every conversation, the quiet roads, and the camaraderie that only comes when a group of people all get up at the crack of dawn (5:30am for me) to drive somewhere to ride their bikes together.  Thank you Doug for hosting! – Jill

Dave Waldburger’s Virginia Bike Trip

Pictures from Dave Waldburger’s Bike Trip

EMS Ride at Case

Riders:  Mark, Alex, Steve, Brett, Pat, Keith, Darrell, John and Dawn, Stephan, Dave

Wow, 12 riders and low humidity, good combo.  We headed up (the only way to go from the Case Pond Lot) but by the top of blue where we regrouped we had lost Keith to a flat and I have some vague recollection that Darrell and Keith were going to fix the flat and meet up with another group of riders. Ok, bang a right, another right onto the fire road, across the metal bridge and up Fern.  I think every EMS ride incorporates the Fern trail at some point.  I’m learning to love it, it is definitely an acquired taste made much more appetizing with a hardtail 29er…  We had a good crew tonight; I had to work really hard.  This is why the EMS Case ride is one of my favorite rides; it pushes me out of my comfort zone both physically and technically.  It also brings out an overwhelming drive to ride as hard as I can for as long as I can just to see how long I can sustain it.  So we headed down the power lines toward Gay City and took a trail off the power lines and oops, another flat.  It was Dawn this time.  The flat was fixed fairly quickly and we wound around toward the ridgeline.  John’s phone rang in front of me and it was Dawn saying she got another flat.  What a bummer!  He said to tell everyone to go ahead and he would ride back to help Dawn.  So, on we rode down slickrock then boom, another flat.  This time it was Dave on his Enduro.  Another quick fix and the real push began – an almost non-stop trek all the way up blue and a regroup at the lookout where we found Josh, some of his friends, and Darrell and Keith.  There were riders everywhere.  I’ve never seen so many people at the lookout before!  Yap, yap, yap with Josh until Brett pretty much told me he was leaving without me so I said bye to the lookout crew and cranked to catch up with them as they took a right onto the pink trail, scooted over to the carriage path, a left up and over the mountain then as always a great (and dim!) downhill back to the cars.  Dawn and John popped out of the woods about 5 minutes later, good timing.  Some great parking lot chatter, Steve and I plotted the next WH to PW ride, Darrell tempted me with a Nathan Hale ride on Saturday, and I asked John if he could get Dawn a road bike by Sunday (sure!), then home to watch the Tour. – Jill

Tuesday Lunch Ride

Riders:  Sue, John, Leo, Mark C., Jill

Today we decided on the Coventry High Route, Sue is training for the Mount Washington Hill Climb in August so she’s trying to ride routes with as many climbs as possible.  This route in my opinion is the most difficult of all of our lunch rides, there are a string of very steep climbs in the middle of the route that can seriously kick your butt.  This was Mark’s first time on this route but the rest of us knew what to expect.  Mark is a new club member and Nerac employee, he’s got a shiny new bike, a great attitude, long legs, and he’s a natural on the bike – what more can you ask for?   So immediately I could tell this was going to be an intense ride, the pace picked up and stayed at a steady push all the way to the first tough climb.  On Tuesday’s I usually save my legs for the Tuesday night AMC ride but I decided to skip the after work ride and ride at lunchtime instead so my legs were feeling great (which is not always the case!).  Plus the humidity was almost non-existent and that was a pleasant break from the last few weeks of almost unbearable temps and humidity.  John scooted up the hill first (of course!!!), and Sue followed, then Mark, me, and Leo bringing up the rear.  I was up out of the saddle “dancing on the pedals” to borrow a quote from Phil Liggett, when I looked up and there was Mark just sitting in the saddle in front of me pedaling along like it was flat and not a nasty, steep climb!  What????  I don’t think he was sweating either, it’s just not fair!  It took me a while to catch up to him and pass him and I suspect he wasn’t even trying, I think he was probably being nice and waiting for Leo.  I told him next time to try standing and he’d probably scoot up to the top before John!  New riders are a lot of fun to ride with; they have so much untapped potential just waiting to be unleashed.  We regrouped at the top (there are several tiers to these climbs starting on Eastview and culminating at Coventry high school) then took a right onto route 31. This is a busy stretch of road so we single filed it at a pretty good push until we took a right onto N. River Rd., crossed over 44 and headed into the home stretch.  My legs were still feeling pretty good so I decided some sprinting was in order.  Sue and John are always good for a chase, they never let me get too far but at least I made them work a little to catch me!  This was a pretty entertaining ride as it was the day after the Contador/Schleck chain dropping incident at the Tour de France so there was plenty of chatter and heckling as we all acted out our roles.  I doled out Contador to John, Schleck to Sue (which she highly objected to!), I was Vino (love that guy), Mark was Armstrong (because he was just smiling, riding, having fun and ignoring all our goofy antics).  Leo was Leipheimer, steady and chasing, we made Leo work super hard today!!!  Sorry Leo!  So in a nutshell this was a great push of a ride with quite a bit of comedy thrown in.  I’m still smiling thinking about it… – Jill

Mansfield Hollow