Farm Ride Recap:
Ignoring unseasonably cold temps and cloudy skies, approximately 22 riders from OVC and SV gathered in rural Sussex County for a pleasant spin through the country, including: Roscoe, Russ, Ted, Sean S., Matt D., Melissa, Jeff, Barry, Lisa, Larissa, Kim, Liz B, Brian, Jody, Desmond, Paul, Maria, Berkman, Rossi, Freddie, Abhi, and Bob. About 2/3 of the group opted for the 56 mile course, with 8 choosing the slightly longer 76 mile route.
All riders rolled out a little after 9am and comfortably stayed together until the split was made 40 miles later in Rhodesdale. A pinch flat and a loose bottle cage momentarily slowed the pack, but other than that and a 2-minute microburst of sleet, it was smooth sailing.
At the split, it looked like we may only have 6 riders doing the longer route, but luckily Melissa and Matt decided to jump on board (thanks Melissa, and great work by both of you!). With eight strong cycling engines powering it, the gruppetto was able to open up the throttle a smidge for the 35 mile trip home. The wind died down and the group enjoyed two hours of long, steady pulls at 20 mph.
The tranquility ended as the group ascended the Sharptown Bridge. Sean led the charge towards the crest and I accepted the challenge. I got a 10-second gap and decided to see how long it could last. The chasers didn’t seem to get organized until after the final turn with 2 miles to go. Once up to speed, the hard charging group of Russ, Ted, Jeff, and Barry were easily cutting down the small gap, but they had spotted me a little too much of a lead earlier and I just managed to hold on and defend the honor of my home turf.
Riding time for the 75.5 mile course was just under 4 hours for a 19 mph average speed. By the time we arrived back, the 56-milers had a nice fire going which, along with our favorite beverages, warmed our bodies and souls. Homemade cookies by my lovely wife Megan also hit the spot. Thanks to everyone who made the trip -- it was a great day of cycling on Delmarva!