It’s time once again for a recap of our weekly Wednesday night group ride, as recounted by Randy, our storytelling maestro. As always, the goal for the ride is the same: ride the 40 mile circuit at an average pace of 20 miles per hour, with a few county line sprints thrown in for bragging rights.
With the sartorial swagger of the rat pack, and perhaps a little bit of the prissiness of Miss J, eleven perfectly perky pedalers rolled out under a soundtrack of mariachi and the vapor of tequila shots. Pace was surprisingly listless but welcomed, as several of the regulars had ridden 106 miles in the heat at the Raven Rock Ramble on Sunday and didn’t quite have the pep in the legs to bolt out of the gates at go-kart speed. Also thankful for the cruiser pace was O’Reilly, who despite getting blown out the back in less than a mile last week, was hanging in just off the back—not exactly working for the group, but taking credit for the coremetric optimization analytics sure to increase impression attribution and cross sell opportunity with the country kinfolk.
At such a conversational pace, chatter was abundant. Peterson talked 600lb squats; Rogers talked landscape architecture; Webster talked manscaping; Baker talked cupcakes; Overby talked Californication; Tommy V talked Riverdance; Gillis talked Dolce&Gabbana; McCarter talked Herradura Seleccion Suprema; Eichvalds muttered; O’Reilly yelled “wait for me”; Jones talked 2010 Focus Izalco Pro CP, one of the finest additions to the Performance platinum bike collection. Its solid handling, top-shelf gruppo and race-inspired graphics will have you dancing on the pedals up every climb and….whoa, sorry, my pimp fear got the best of me.
A first for the 40@20 group, we picked up two lone riders along the way: Graham, a UNC freshman, and Steve-O, McCarter’s buddy and not of “Jackass” fame. Both were strong riders and we were all glad they weren’t scared away after Peterson wrestled down an Aberdeen Angus, butchered enough beef to feed the population of Saxapahaw, and rejoined the group blood-fueled and ready for the first sprint.
Unlike last week, the sprint wind-up didn’t begin until the last seven hundred meters before the line. Gillis broke first, with Peterson and Jones quick on his wheel. Overby tucked in next to Jones, and at 300 meters, threaded the needle like a 16 year old with a new Trans-Am trying to impress his blue-eye shadowed-AquaNet-teased-bangs-HubbaBubba-smackin girlfriend. Peterson gave chase but the filet mignon in his belly quickly brought him to an upright position. Jones kicked by and thought he might have a chance at second, but his hopes were dashed as he watched McCarter, Webster, and Rogers blow by. Overby was the winner by 6 bike lengths, with McCarter taking Webster by a lever.
At the crossroads, Peterson and Tommy V peeled off and went in search of O’Reilly. The remaining ten worked hard into Orange County and continued to ramp up the pace as we headed back south towards home. Rolling up next to The Kraken, we found O’Reilly engaged in a tense match of Cornhole with a fella who bore a striking resemblance to Leonard Smalls. Guess the coremetrics really worked.
Rounding on to Old Greensboro, we pacelined at close to 30 and kept charging all the way to Damascus. McCarter broke like he wanted to string out the group, but dialed it back quickly. En masse, we descended and broke hard right onto Meachum with Gillis leading the sprint. Once again, Overby shot through to the front and let it be known that in spite of his hairy legs, Kramden gut, and ironic socks, he is the most badass cyclist in the land. McCarter, Webster and Rogers were once again the chase group, with Jones desperately thumbing for a lasso in his jersey to rope em in. With 200 meters to go, Jones overtook Rogers and overlapped wheels with Webster and McCarter. Webster took down McCarter. Jones took down Webster. Overby could hear the creaking cleats of Jones’s 10 year old shoes getting close, but knew he had the secret Nollie Heelflip Varial in his bag of tricks and took the line by a length over Jones. Webster took third.
Hard pedaling back in, Rogers again made the jump for the last sprint line. Overby and McCarter gave chase, but the Irishman was too much for them to handle, and he was whistling the Irish Spring jingle all the way home. The finishing six were ecstatic about the 21.3 average and if I had to guess our post ride beer of choice, this would be it:
Rogers—Beamish Irish Stout
Gillis—New Holland Mad Hatter IPA
Overby—Dark Lord Imperial Stout
McCarter—Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)
Webster—Mirror Pond Pale Ale
Jones—Green Flash IPA