Ah, yes…the final long ride. One hundred miles. I did this ride last year, but 100k was the longest option. I remember that it was windy and a race of attrition that ended with me riding solo the final miles. I hoped that today would be a bigger group that stays together. Fortunately, this wish came to pass.
Besides the weather being cool (but not cold) and the rain having stopped, another bonus of the ride was the opportunity to ride some roads north of Durham that I’ve been meaning to explore. We went through places like Rougemont, Red Mountain, Stem, and Butner. Pretty rural out there. Just plain pretty too.
Perhaps it seemed hillier than it was, since we only ended up with 5900 feet of elevation gain for the 100 miles. It’s not flat, obviously, but it’s less than some of my other rides I’ve done. I got some good practice with the SRAM Rivals, but I’m not always smooth with them yet. It definitely is a smoother drop into the little ring than it was with the 105′s, which is nice.
There was only one wreck that I know about, which was due to someone not paying attention and hitting a median that cropped up while we were making our way out of town. Ah yes, urban riding! I dodged it and called out the ever popular warning, “Watch out for the traffic furniture!” Which was shortly followed by the scrunching sound of a bike making contact with said obstacle. Oh dear. Unfortunately, my friend Eric was behind the guy and had no way out. His wheel ended up wobbly and out of true. Question– if a wheel is out of true, would it then be into false? At any rate, one of Eric’s teammates switched wheels with him, trued up the wheel enough to ride the metric which started an hour later. So then Eric chased back on to the 100 group burning his way through his front and rear brake pads, unawares of his bleeding elbow. Once he figured out the brake pad problem, he was like a new man. With new legs. He used those new legs to good effect too.
My day went smoother than Eric’s did, but I was tired at the end and ready for the ride to be over. We went at a pretty brisk pace and there were some punchy attackers that were playing let the girl bridge us up to the break then shoot off the front in a sudden surge game. I warmly refer to that as the “use and abuse move.” In all fairness, it only happened once, and I knew it was likely to happen when I sacrificed myself to pull back the attackers. I’m not that stupid. Fortunately, there are always more draft-rested fresh legs back there to pull things back together. It was a fun group.