I crawled out of my bed shortly after 7 am a whole half hour early for breakfast and was told that I was late for breakfast and they ha run out of oatmeal. A few of us who had slept in were a bit grumpy with this news and decided that we would need another breakfast on the road as a result. Now you might imagine that would make us get out of camp quickly but that wasn’t the case because it was a bone chilling 10 degrees C with very high humidity. Anyhow, we took our sweet time getting out of camp and I left with Brad Geerlinks and John Vanderveen at about 8:30 hoping to catch Alex VanGeest and Kyle Meyerink shortly which we did indeed do. If you’ve been following my blog or others you’ll know that this is pretty close to the same group I rode with when I crashed a week and a half ago. These are the cream of the crop when it comes to City Line Sprinting and with more than 30 towns to pass through (I am not joking about that number!) it should be an eventful day. I was not going to be racing but wanted to come along anyways to watch and cheer.
The pace was brisk as we rolled along over gentle hills around 36 kph. I no longer have an operational speedometer and I think that makes me less hesitant to ride at a faster pace as I don’t think about going too hard because I have no reason to believe it’s too fast as long as I feel fine doing it. That meant I was pulling our pack of 5 riders along for most of the first 40 kms. Up front means you’re at the prime position for spotting city line signs and I did indeed spot the first one for Wheatland. I guess everyone else was distracted by the cold temperatures because they didn’t see it and all I needed to do was 2 hard pedals to edge ahead of Kyle for the win. My victory cheer got under the skin of those guys because… well I’m a cripple and they don’t like to loose. So for the rest of our 40kms before breakfast I didn’t have a chance and mostly cheered for Kyle as he was second place to John about a dozen times in a row.
Our second breakfast consisted of coffee pancakes, bacon, eggs and hashbrowns and put everyone in a subdued mood for more sprints. I took advantage winning the next sprint on an uphill just by being the least sluggish… a bit more gloating about my accomplishment and that was the end of my victories for a few more miles.
Before lunch which was hosted by Palmyra CRC at a farm along the route I managed to snag two more wins from those guys because I was leading the pack for so much of the ride. I guess I should admit though the only ones I won were printed on white signs instead of the normal green. In some rulebooks these don’t count because you can’t tell if it’s a city limit sign until you’re within reading distance.
Lunch was great and while the food was excellent the nice grass was almost better as a dozen of us took the opportunity to take a big long nap under the trees.
Camp was on the shore of Seneca Lake which is one of the “finger lakes” of upper new York State. The final 20 kms of the ride we were rolling along the flat shoreline side by side. I realized that everyone is quite a bit fitter than we were 7 weeks ago. No-one would have thought about riding in the high thirties (kph) and breaking their own wind when they could be drafting off someone else. Well even after 120 hard kms we were still riding side by side because it makes having a conversation easier.