After a talked about adventure during last weekends pancake ride another group ride was planned, this time in the Collingwood area. Again Mr. Watson setup the logistics of who, what, where and when. I guess this time he forgot to tempt the group with food because the pack was a little smaller. Andrew, Jacob, Liz and myself. Liz had some altered plans for her ride so we were down to three. Should have told the pack we were riding to get steak!!
After having some stare downs with the skiers and snowboarders we were off. Just riding with a group again is enjoyable, I love drafting!!! We made our way over to the first climb of the day. Andrew had an agenda for the day, Jacob and I looked at each other and shouted, we'll see you at the top. Pretty River road is a long climb, I can't tell you how long but your longest climb you've ever done, this is longer. It was so long and high that we were riding over glaciers, ok maybe it was just frozen melt run off. We all commented on that ice and were happy we were going up when we crossed, downhill was for sure instant death.
Before making our way to the next decent/climb we chased down a horse and buggy and ran it off the road. Our little revenge for having to avoid the big pile of shit on the road. I'll steal the quote of the day from Andrew" I could be in the desert not seeing anyone for days and stop for a piss and a car would come by" Yes he was right, every single time anyone had to stop and go (mainly me) a car or person would show up. It's hard to do the pee pee dance on a bike.
Heading up the Epping climb we all felt like super hero's, tail wind, smooth roads, no traffic. Ya we went up that way to easy. We paid for it only a few km later when we turned right and took the head wind on. Nothing like drooping your speed by half. The thoughts and decisions on which way to head back to the resort were made by my comment of" I have to ride this long" That was my gentle plea of don't make me ride around in circles for 45 minutes in the parking lot to get my time in. The long way it is as we headed to the backside of Grey 19 where Andrew started the next interval. Why is it that the smallest guy who is the hardest person to draft is the fastest amongst us. Jacob at over 6 foot couldn't tuck in enough to Andrew's 5'6" so I got in the middle and getting as small as possible became the middle buffer.
The pay off with any climb is the decent, the only problem with really long climbs is that the really long decent is almost more uncomfortable to the body than the climb itself. Tucking down 19 my body started to not like me. The neck got sore, etc, no road racing for me. We headed to the last climb of the day, Scenic Caves as I was informed after is a steady 10% grade to the top of Blue Mountain. I watched the boys go and play and I kept things to a steady grind to the top.
We stopped have way down to do the tourist thing when things went bad. It was one of those " I bet you can't ride over that, it would make a great video, I bet I can!!" type conversations. No sooner was it a double dog dare which lead to this.
Followed by this.
The Giant versus Norco debate started, on pure acceleration Giant takes it. After a very nervous decent down the rest of Scenic Caves, all tires packed with sand, pine needles and snow, I think I was still in the upper 70's we called it a day. 4:15 riding, 5200 feet of climbing, 106 km's. For me almost 3000 calories burned which needed to replaced quickly. Some random restaurant that we made fun of the name over the course of the ride did a good job at refueling me for the hour drive home.
I'm started to like these group road ride things, unfortunately I'll be out riding solo today. More tomorrow.