Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sixth Group Ride

TNT 2012
This past Saturday afternoon we went out for our sixth team ride... it's hard to believe we only have eight more to go before the big day. This was a special group ride because all of the TNT 2012 members (cyclists, runners, walkers, and triathletes), met in Colebrook for some group training followed by a picnic in the park.

We hit the road quickly and headed to Mt. Gretna, and unfortunately the rain started shortly after. It was our first time riding in the rain and it was a learning experience. The first thing we quickly learned about "wet riding" is that you cannot draft in the rain.  If you are drafting all you get is a face full of water and dirt from your partner's rear wheel. Second, don't slam on the breaks. You need to ease onto the brakes and give yourself plenty of time to come to a stop. Third, make sure you bring food with you. Luckily our friend Denise was kind enough to offer me her Luna bar during our short break at a random stop on the side of the road.

The rain kept coming during the entire ride, and only decided to stop once we got back to the cars.  It's hard to tell in the picture below, but we were drenched!

Ride Stats
Total distance:  44.90 km (27.9 mi)
Moving time:  1:56:10
Average moving speed:  23.19 km/h (14.4 mi/h)
Max speed:  61.00 km/h (37.9 mi/h)
Elevation gain: 683 m (2242 ft)

This week we already did two shorter training rides in our area. Both were roughly 13 miles long, and took us through the local farms along Limekiln and Sheepford roads close to our house. We even had Kui and Shelly join us for one of these rides. One of the benefits of riding is getting a chance to see beautiful farms along the way.  I never would have known that these guys live just a few miles from us if it hadn't been for riding. 

During on of the shorter training rides I managed to avoid a catastrophic crash. I was cruising down Slate Hill on Lisburn road going roughly 35+ mph, when my front wheel began to shake uncontrollably. I almost lost control completely. I instinctively veered off into the grassy field. If I was going to crash I wanted to do it in a field, not on the pavement.

My decision to go off-road turned out to work very well. The long grass in the field slowed me down and I was able to regain control, without crashing at all. It all happened very quickly, but needless to say it was extremely frightening since I was moving so fast. At first I thought I blew a tire/tube, but there was nothing visibly wrong with my bike. After a slow restart, everything seemed fine. I took my bike to World Cup today, and it turned out that my tires needed to be re-seated and the wheels weren't exactly true. They fixed me up right away and now I'm ready to go again on Saturday when we will climb (and descend) King's Gap!

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