Becoming One with the Road

The last two weeks have been kind of hard on me.  I have not been able to run due to injury and have been waiting for recovery.   The first time I was injured several years ago, I turned to the bike.   I have not been  on the bike, but it has not been a focus.  The Illinois Marathon is 10 weeks away, and I don’t see a chance at for Boston at this rate.

Untitled

Gary shows off his fountain of youth - Monster Energy tall boy!

So this week I turned to the bike.  Mostly on the trainer, but it is all in the motion.  When I heard about the great weather 60+ degrees, I decided to show up for a Team Mack ride on Saturday morning.

I left the house at 8:30, headed through the park and to Gary’s house.  I was one of the first to show up, followed by Robo and Dungan.  Even the ground hog himself, Brian Tober showed up (his shadow would be too much, he turned off in Chatham) Gary finally graced us with his presence while sipping a Monster Energy tall boy.  When the clock struck 9, we had over 20 riders ready to brave the ride to Raymond.

The route was south, and we headed to down the interurban trail to get out of town.  If you haven’t been down the trail lately,  they have been doing a little road work. Re-routing a highway is not simple chore.  It takes lots and lots of dirt and rock.  Well, our GPS put us right through the middle of it.  I should have been riding some knobbies, instead of  my Mavic Carbon wheel set.  Mud was flying everywhere.  I have never gotten so dirty on a road ride!

Untitled

Stopping to pee and scrap mud from our bikes.

We made it though the mud, and decided to make a quick pee stop before getting on the road.  This was a sight to be seen.

Once on the road the miles flew by.  I haven’t see a lot of these guys since last October, so there was a lot of catching up.  Our speed fluctuated depending on who was up front.  Robo has been riding way too much, and could have and probably did ride out front the whole ride.

Wheel fast had a good showing on this ride.  I am not sure but I think I might have seen Jake the Snake on his Van Diesel.

I had not planned on riding all the way to Raymond.  A hundred miles might have been just a little to far for a “first ride of the year” ride.  But a group of riders were planning on peeling off at the T just past Auburn.  That would put me at around 50, and didn’t sound too bad.

Just south of Chatham we came upon some blacktop that looked to be a little muddy.  I saw, what looked to be a semi dry patch on the left side of the road.  I started noticing the loss of traction and my wheels started slipping.  Next thing I I was probably mid-pack and I hear someone yell “oh shit.”   (that might have been me?)  Riders in front of me, to right of me and behind me were hitting the pavement.  It was like riding on ice.  You could not stay vertical.  My guess is 15 out of 20 riders became one with the road.  It took a few minutes for everyone to regain there composure.  I started thinking back to last summer when Jason and Ben went down, and ended up in the hospital.  This time we were going much much slower. (less than 15?) It was the weirdest  crash ever.  Rider spread everywhere, I mean everywhere!  I checked myself out, and looked fine.  I am guessing a cherry on the hip tomorrow.

Lola

Lola, clean again at last!

The only people to stay up were the ones that found the edge of the road.

We saddled up and continued the ride.  It wasn’t too much further to the turn around for us short coursers.  Just before we got to the T, someone flatted.  This is were the group split.

6 or 7 of us headed back home.  We decided to head a little west to avoid all the crap we had already ridden through.  On the way back we noticed the wind was changing from the south to the west.  That giant tailwind we hoped for was not going to help us home.  I could only thing of a couple things:  how sore my bum would be tomorrow, and how much time I was going to need to clean up “Lola.”  (she has never seen the rain)

Besides all the dirty talk, I just couldn’t wait to get home. 

We came in behind Target and I separated from what was left of the group.  

I love riding.  It is days like today that really define, why you ride and why you will ride again tomorrow.

What an epic ride!