Sunday, March 4, 2012

Third Group Ride (Jekyll and Hyde)

Yesterday afternoon Team in Training gathered for the third group ride of the season, the South Middleton loop. When we woke up that morning, we thought it was going to be a beautiful day for a ride around the beautiful farmland in the Mt. Holly Springs area. The forecast showed a high of 60 and plenty of sunshine, with some wind at times.

They were right, it was almost perfect riding conditions. The one exception proved to be those winds. They were stronger than we ever experienced. When the ride started we were facing (what felt like) 20mph winds which makes going uphill extremely difficult.  We had to fight against the wind for the first half of the ride, through Mt. Holly Springs, pushing against head and cross winds while moving at a snails pace (<10mph).

We stopped at the Kings Gap General Store for a much need break. Good thing we did, because Jenelle still can't drink and drive (especially on a day like that, where the wind is really blowing you around). In order to drink while moving on your bike, you need to have enough confidence and balance to keep your bike upright while only using one hand. She will get there eventually.

The rest stop was the beginning of the end for the wind. We turned north after leaving the Kings Gap General Store and got blasted with some cross winds from the East. After about a mile of that, we turned the corner, and finally felt the winds to our back.

We crested the first hill with amazing ease, barely pedaling up to a 20mph clip. Soon we hit some of the smoothest and longest down hill sections all day. At one time I looked down and saw my speedometer say 40mph. It's an amazing feeling to ride at those speeds, and still feel the wind on your back.

I think we need to rename it the Jekyll and Hyde Ride.  Riding against the wind for the first half of the ride was a challenge even for the experienced riders in the group, but the second half of the ride, when the wind helped push us along, it was a breeze. :-)

Click here to see the route!

Jenelle and I at the end of the ride.
Ride Stats
Total distance: 40.20 km (25.0 mi)
Moving time: 1:47:16
Average moving speed: 22.49 km/h (14.0 mi/h)
Max speed: 61.00 km/h (37.9 mi/h)
Elevation gain: 520 m (1705 ft)

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