I hadn’t done a Sunday ride with the Newmarket Eagles in quite a while–certainly not this year. When I first started with them, I always did the Sunday ride. Somewhere along the way, I switched to the Saturday ride and didn’t look back. Actually, that isn’t true. I have always wanted to complete the double–ride both days–but never seem to manage it.
Yesterday was a no go as I was attending a heritage event for the donnauschwabens. That was quite good, so I don’t mind swapping my riding days.
I arrived at the meeting point and noticed a few things. The parking lot was empty and nothing was going on in the area. Usually on a Saturday, parking is at a premium and there is usually something going on at the Riverwalk Commons–farmers market, aerobics, car show….something. Today there was nothing.
We didn’t have enough for two groups, so we all started out together. One new rider asked if there was a slower group as she wasn’t that fast. She got the typical response you always get. “Don’t worry. We won’t drop you. Nobody is getting dropped on a Sunday ride.” The person saying this seemed to be speaking honestly. He even moved his head side to side to emphasize how earnest he was being. I know, sounds like a load of crap.
In the summer, there are lots of competing charity rides. Today’s was the Ride for Mental Health. This is definitely a good ride and a very important cause. I would have liked to ride that one, but I am terrible at fundraising. We ran into a massive group of riders on this event as they seemed to be taking a similar route to ours–I think this could have been easily avoided–but since I don’t volunteer on the executive, I really can’t criticize them. The mass of riders were undisciplined and tricky to get around on busy roads.
As a result of a huge pile of riders all mingled together we managed to drop two riders. I mentioned this to the person who I (wrongly) thought was the ride leader. He said we would all meet up at the light. That didn’t happen and three people were left behind at a short traffic light which led to a serious climb.
As we came to the first major change of direction, the club did wait. However, I noticed t hat one of the group seemed to be struggling. He said that his heart was beating way to fast. He decided to turn around and go home after resting for a bit. I told the group leader (wrong guy) and then I told them I and the first of the dropped riders would wait for the last two and take the route at a slower pace. I figured I would get into my groove, but I wasn’t there yet and I felt bad about the group dropping the two people.
So Lance (I swear to God that was his name) waited for the two riders. They didn’t show up, so we circled back but couldn’t find them. We decided to carry on and the two of us had a decent ride. We encountered a train and had to wait for the thing to cross before we continued. I didn’t mind because I like trains. We went around the lake, which is always beautiful. I almost had enough time on Lance to take some pictures, but I didn’t want to slow myself down before the big climb.
When we exited the late area, we saw the two missing riders. They joined up with us for the rest of the ride. We decided to keep to the route and they told that it would take us to Annie’s bakery. They said this was a popular stop for the club. I’ve been with the club for four years and I have never stopped there.
When we got there, I could see they weren’t kidding about the popularity of the place. There were high end bikes everywhere. I am particularly fond of my picture of the innovative Cervelo parking. I sent that one to the GCN show. I am hoping it makes it to air. The food inside looked quite delicious and I think I will take my girlfriend there one weekend to enjoy some breakfast or at least some cakes.
The ride back was okay. I haven’t checked my Strava segments yet, but I don’t think I set any records. Generally I feel stronger and I was a good ride. Riding regularly is definitely important.