OVC/Culver & Pierson Sunday Ride Report (03/22/2015):

A late start from SG this Sunday allowed a 17 rider field to enjoy the warmest part of the day and according to Strava time, the field consisting of OVC’s Barry, Brian F, Brian O, Chris D, Crystal, Freddie, Jamie, Jim B, Kevin, Matt M, Rick B, Rick W, Russ, Terri, Team Let it Roll's Mark C and local triathletes Scott B and Olga B rolled out of Gravity on time for a 50 miler that would consist of multiple echelons, periodic regroups and a few spirited hard segments. Less than 30 minutes into the ride and with two riders abandoning the ride just before the turn onto Furnacetown Rd and one a few miles later looking for a more structured individual session in the saddle, only 14 of the 17 starters would continue on with the moderately tempo paced ride. Just as all 14 exited Pennewell Rd (and after some Pennewell family trivia courtesy of local boy Kevin D) and made the left onto Nassawango, the open landscape, a brisk tempo and the crosswind over the left shoulder of the riders would temporarily drive a wedge into the peloton. With damage minimal and a quick regroup, all 15 were back in the fold and heading northwest on Disharoon Rd.

Heading into a block headwind and just past the intersection at Carmean and Disharoon roads, again the field would begin to splinter. The lead group consisting of about a half dozen would sit up and wait for the rest and in the meantime some would use the slight lull in the action to get rid of some bodily fluids. After the regroup and the nature break, the field would make a right onto Laws Rd and in doing so the ride leader would give the command to lift the pace and for the next 3 miles the field would maintain a steady 21 mph pace and after the next turn on Shockley Rd, all remaining 14 were still surprisingly intact.

With most of the ride thus far fairly uneventful, the next 3 miles on the Whiton/Powellville Rd would challenge even the fittest of the fit and as the field rolled past Powell School Rd the wide open plains of Whiton, a slight rise in elevation and a hard dig by Rehoboth’s Jamie would create some separation and with 2.5 to go to Powellville only Jamie, Russ, Barry, Kevin, Brian F, Brian O, Crystal, Matt and Jim B would have a shot at the intermediate sprint line located at the corner of Burbage and Whiton/Williard roads. Pushing the pace with each passing meter and with the lead group sliced in half, only Jamie, Jim B, Barry and Kevin and Russ had their sights set on this mid-ride prime and getting the jump on his fellow comrades was Russ and the cagey old vet managed to hold off a late charge by Jaime to grab the top spot. Hats off to Kevin on that sector who’s been fighting a nasty cold all week, but still managed to contribute in the break and finish the brutal segment. Just as commendable was the effort by one of our lady members Crystal who on limited mileage (due to a rigorous work schedule of late) rode stellar during the 3 mile high wattage group interval.

The Final 45 Minutes:

With the field spread out as far the eye could see after the Whiton Rd segment, the ride leaders would restore order quickly on Mt Hermon Rd and with approximately 15 miles to go, some would call it day and take a shorter route back to the Bury. The rest of bunch made up of OVC’s Jamie, Rick W, Barry, Jim, Matt, Brian F, Russ and Chris D would continue on with the rest of the planned route which consisted of quiet tree-lined country roads perfect for providing shelter from a treacherous 15 mph NW wind. The early going on Powell, Rohn, Longbridge and Shavox roads was pretty much "gruppo compatto" thanks in part to a brisk but manageable pace, but as the small but select 8 man group cornered hard and accelerated on Mt Hermon Church Rd, a few would find an explosive led surge by Barry a bit too much to handle and left punching their ticket for the 3 mile fun filled fast and furious finale were Jim, Barry, Rick W, Chris, Jamie and Russ.

Flying across the open smooth asphalt of MHCR the field would bid farewell to Chris who at the stop on Johnson would find the quicker route home on Nutters Xing more to his liking. Left to challenge for the mad dash to Fratelli’s were Barry and Jim on tri bikes and Rick, Russ and Jamie aboard their conventional road machines. Starting the ascension of the false flat just past the Lakeside Assisted Living Center, Russ with a few matches to burn (and perhaps standing in for Roscoe and Dean’s absence) launched his frail 155 lb. physique up the final few meters of the 2 percent grade and the only rider to respond to the Prez’s last minute cheeky move was a gutsy road race savvy Rick W. Establishing an immediate gap straight on, the pair of licensed roadies aboard their Pro SL4s would hold off a valiant pursuit effort by a formidable trio led by an on form Sir Beauchampi, former tri specialist Jim B and the coast’s Jamie C who has certainly come into his own in early 2015. Nice finish fellas….that hurt!

Rolling back to Gravity, everyone looked to make it back safe and sound and it appeared most of the finishers were pleased with the tough 2.5 hour ride. With true OVC grit and determination, another lady member Terry T battling nagging lower back pain still managed to go the distance and acquitted herself quite well during some of the more difficult crosswind sections.

To cap off their hard work in the saddle, some members would gather at SG for the usual diet of wings, pizza and cold beverages. Thanks so much everyone for coming out. Have a great week!