Today’s ride was advertised as flat enough to be fixie-friendly. So I prepared my single-speed.
The ride started and ended at Charlestown Pizza Company. I drove to Charlestown and parked at my old house to ease the parking situation. I then rode my bike to the ride start.
The weather forecast was calling for thunderstorms, but at this point we just had overcast skies.
I think there were nine of us, all LBC members. Two of the nine had recently returned from Paris-Brest-Paris. What was I getting myself into?
We headed out of town with probably a 17mph average. I was spinning like a hamster, but staying near the front. Many of the other riders weren’t breaking a sweat.
We had been heading north on Hwy 3. As we turned unto Hwy 203, it got a bit hillier and my speed began to vary with the terrain. I began to wish for more gears. I started getting passed by the other riders.
We continue through Lexington IN, unto Hwy 356, and eventually turn north again on CR 900/Pine Hill Rd. Somewhere near there I got left behind. I don’t remember where.
I followed the cue sheet (I wasn’t provided a GPS track ahead of time) along Horner Rd, Getty Rd, CR 1233, Polk Rd, CR 1250, Blake Rd, and eventually back to Hwy 3, but still heading north.
I hoped to catch back up to the group on the relatively flat highway, but I didn’t see them.
Eventually there was a turn on CR 850 that took us to our first control – Spring Hill Farm Twigs & Sprigs Tea Room. It’s actually a farm, and a winery, and a restaurant, and, of course, a tea room.
The rest of the group was there enjoying lunch. They had arrived about 30 minutes before I did. Wow, I’m slow.
I ordered a sandwich (very good) some iced tea (quite good) and had the waitress sign my card and refill my water bottle. I headed out with the group again.
It had started to rain while we were eating. It wasn’t a downpour, just rain. There were no storms either.
Someone complained how cold the rain was. I just thought about the sweat that had been running into my eyes an hour before. This was much better.
It turns out this ride was an out-and-back. It would require me looking at the cue sheet less.
As we turned unto Hwy 3 heading south, and got right up behind someone else’s wheel, and intended to stay there. I did, until the first hill. I fell back badly. My legs were in need of rest, and without a lower gear to shift to, I just couldn’t put any more power into it.
Before long I was riding alone again. The wet roads and foliage did make for some nice scenery.
I retraced my steps back toward Charlestown. The rain varied between a light drizzle and a steady rain. I was happy that I had installed the new fenders on the single-speed, but a bit discouraged for riding alone on a group ride.
Then it hit me. I wasn’t going to make the time limit anyway, so it didn’t matter. I took my time. I walked the hills that I had to. I enjoyed myself.
I did stick to the course. As I entered Charlestown, I considered not even going to the ride end, but just to my truck to drive home. Charlestown Pizza was closed. I figured it would be best to finish the ride just to say I did.
So I rolled up and Timothy was still there. Everyone else had gone. I had made the time limit with 14 minutes to spare!
Timothy informed me that we were meeting up at Patrick O’Sheas for food and drink. So I rode back to my truck, and drove back to Louisville for food and beer.
While sitting around an outdoor table, I got to listen in on conversation of uphill time trials, Octoberfest, Paris-Brest-Paris, Mad Dog rides, and where the steepest hills are. I had a good time.
I guess I need to get faster to spend more time with these people. 🙂
This is the out-and-back route: