Monday, April 27, 2015

2015 tour de franklin (maybe last...)

I had a team set for the Tour de Franklin yesterday, but some complained of back pain, and others went on one of Tom H's "High Points" rides (he's planning to hit all the highest points in each county on rides this year, and I haven't been able to go on any of the rides yet), so my team was two: Dave H, and Raj N, a comparative newbie (at least to me) who I met at the Spring Fling the day before.

(I'm teaching a bike maintenance class, and one of my students came to ride the 40-mile ride. I heard she did fine. Here's Samantha S, below:)

Even with just the three of us, we got a bit of a late start (the TdF expects riders on the 100km route to depart by 7:30; when I've had big teams, we've often been the last to leave). We started out quite strong, and kept a good pace until the stop in Kingston. The route was different this year from the past few, whether for construction, safety, or just variety. WE blew off the stop at Six Mile, but we did stop at Kingston.

After the stop, I came up on someone who was struggling, and said, as I often do, "Car back! Keep your brains on!" I didn't mean any insult, but he took it that way, and I had to apologize to him. I noticed Raj and Dave chatting with him in my mirror, so I hope all was well with him after that.

WE kept on strong through the next stop, run by this young lady, who wins my award for friendliest rest-stop volunteer of the day. We can certainly do these rides on our own, but it's a lot more fun with the volunteers helping out.

Just before the stop at Six Mile on the way back, I started to bonk. As usual, by the time we got there, they had almost no food; I got a couple of starchy green bananas to fuel up with, but I was not strong on the way back. Raj and Dave did the pulling as we got back to the municipal complex on DeMott Avenue:

... where there was the usual baked ziti, but also sandwiches, and a table of veggie fare. I ate enough to make up for the bonk, and then some; I actually gained weight after this ride!

The Excellent Wife (TEW) and two of her friends did one of the shorter rides. Here they are lookin' all accomplished:

(TEW is turnin' into a real biker. She was complaining about slower riders and saying she could definitely have gone farther. I'm impressed with her, and beginning to worry a little bit.)

The GPS got wonky at the last rest stop, too, so I don't have a route-and-rate link. I asked the guys about our speed; we'd been above 16 for much of the ride, and finished about 15.8. The route was posted, but I found that the posted route, the cue sheet, and the road signs didn't always agree, and when in doubt, we went with the road signs. (We DID pass close to where I had the crash a few weeks ago... but I didn't stop back to see if I could find any parts of my face that I left there.)

This will probably be the last one I lead. The TdF management has asked to partner with the New Brunswick Bike Exchange to have a maintenance and tune-up station, and I'll probably plan to do that in future; my wrenches are gettin' itchy.

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