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Saturday, June 02, 2007

My first shop ride of the year

I haven't been able to participate in the weekly Sunshine Cycle Shop "Hour of Power" ride this year. The ride falls right during the time that my wife does her arobics. I can ride anytime, but she can only go when the sessions are offered. So, that means I have been home with the kids on Saturday mornings.

Today we worked it out so that I could go. I'm hoping that we can make these arrangments every weekend. I enjoy riding with a group so much more!

Everybody meets at the shop around 7:45 a.m. and things get rolling well before eight. Today there were about 15 riders or so of varying levels. It was cool to see a father there with his son who appeared to be 10 to 12 years old. There was also another rider who told me he was just getting back on the bike after a 20 year hiatus.

The route takes us into the Rutherford/Stallings area. Then we work our way over to Sandy Flats. At that point we are working our way towards Paris Mountain and end up on Autobahn before winding our way through back roads back to the shop. All told it is about 32 miles.

The fun part, other than just gabbing with the other riders, are the sprints. Of course, this being a shop ride, it doesn't get too intense. Still, when a certain stop sign or hill top is just ahead, the lead riders start jockeying for position and then the dash is on!

One sprint concludes at the entrance to Paris Mountain State Park. I was in a drafting line near the rear. I had used myself up on some earlier sprints and I really didn't think I could make it. Well, for some unexplained reason, the line splintered and everyone slowed.

Because I was in the back my momentum carried me to the outside of the line and I found myself at the front. Up ahead were two riders. "I can take them," I thought to myself and since no one else was pushing I figured I stood a chance of being first to the top.

I caught the two riders easily and passed them, but with about twenty feet to go, Tony, one of shop guys came flying by me on my right. Rats! I had never been first on the sprint and he stole it from me. :-)

Overall, I felt very good about the ride for being my first time back. I hung with the top riders all day, won one sprint and finished in the top three or four during the other sprints. Mostly though it was fun to work as a group and then hang out at the shop afterwards drinking coffee and eating bananas.

Thanks for the fun Sunshine!

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