With OVC’s Tuesday Night Ride season opener cancelled, Thursday night’s ride was the perfect substitute for its big brother. Shoving off out of Gravity, a huge turnout was a sight to behold as the 17 rider field comprised of OVC (Barry, Brian F, Brian J, Bruce, Caleb, Frankie, John J, Mario, Matt D, Rick W, Roscoe, Russ and Scott) and SV (Abby, Paul, Jody and Brian O) made its way out of Salisbury via College Ave and Riverside Dr. As the peloton cleared the Tony Tank Pond, the hammer went down and by the time the field made its way onto Upper Ferry Rd, the average speed was already hovering around 23 mph. Of the 17 starters, only 13 would make the hard left onto Upper Ferry Rd while the others would take the Cooper Rd exit.
Now down to a sea of black and blue, Upper Ferry was probably the fastest segment of the evening as the field of 13 scorched the 3.5 mile segment at blistering pace of 25 mph. Exiting UFR, the field would use the next 3.5 minutes to recover and with all 13 riders present and accounted for just past the pond, the peloton would accelerate back to speed and for the next 2.5 miles the pace would hold steady at 25 mph. Hitting the stop at Rt 13, the rest of Peggy Neck was more a less back to a normal Thursday night "B" pace, but once the field made the right onto Backbone one could sense that the rest of this evening was going to be nothing less than a tune-up for next week’s TNR.
Screaming down Backbone at 26 plus mph, the field of 13 minus 1 would make a left onto Palmetto Church Rd and with its series of gravel littered hairpin turns, the Black n Blue Train would make the wise choice to dial it back on PCR to allow everyone to make it safely to West Post Office Rd as one cohesive group. Back onto the smoother pavé of WPOR, it didn’t take long for the group to get back up to speed and for the rest of the way on WPOR, speeds seldom dipped below 40 kph. With all 12 riders still on board the Pain Train, the next and final challenge for this fit group of roadies would be facing a headwind for the remaining 6 miles on Meadowbridge Rd.
With the miles ticking off at nearly race pace, the final wind up to the finish was nothing short of a classic TNR finale. Leading the charge and doing his best to fracture the group was Roscoe. His high wattage efforts into a bruising crosswind would have a few scrambling for wheels and some barely hangin on, but in true OVC fashion the lure of overpass was enough to raise the efforts of the lead group to another level. With the hammer down, a select group of sprinters were led to line and grabbing the top 5 spots were Roscoe, Frankie, Caleb, Rick and Brian J. Rollin in just a few bike lengths behind and putting in a hard night’s work were Bruce, Russ, Barry, Mario, Scott, Brian F, and John J.
Taking out the roll out and the cool down, the finishing time for the 25.5 mile parcours (Tony Tank pond to the Meadowbridge overpass) was 65 minutes (average speed 23.3 mph). Nice teamwork OVC!