OVC/Culver & Pierson 2nd Thursday Night Ride of the Week Report (04/02/2015):

A few minutes prior to the official start time of 5:30 pm things weren’t looking to promising for OVC in terms of numbers for their traditional Thursday Night Ride, but minutes later a mass influx of black n blue jammed into the crowded parking lot at Specific Gravity. Rolling out of SG about 15 minutes late, a talent laden field consisting of OVC’s Barry, Wes S, Brian J, Caleb, Dean P, Dean S, Freddie G, Jeff H, Matt D, Phil C, Rick W, Russ and Terri T made their way over to Riverside Dr to begin what was soon to be a ride with a mix of race simulation, the team version of the race of truth (aka TTT), wrong turns, a mild case of attrition and oh yea…one helluva bike ride.

Don’t let the 21 mph average speed fool ya:

Making their way onto Riverside, the ride marshal gave the command to get single file and the 13 rider field did just that. With the pace picking up each and every mile on Riverside Ext, the 23 plus mph pace into a blustery SW wind started to takes its toll on the 13 rider field. With the field fractured at the end of Riverside and a half dozen overshooting the left onto Upper Ferry and heading down Cooper, the ride leader quickly went into action to restore order and get the Black n Blue Train back on track. With all 13 starters nose to tail, the hammer went down southbound on Upper Ferry and with a volley of crosswinds coming from all directions the field would once again experience some shrinkage. With three eliminated from the fold at the end of Upper Ferry, Barry, Wes S, Brian J, Caleb, Dean P, Dean S, Jeff H, Phil C, Rick W and Russ still with ticket in hand aboard the Black n Blue “Pain" Train, meandered their way through the little hamlet of Allen, MD (population 210).

Exiting Allen, the remaining ten would ramp up the intensity to the right turn on Polks Rd and continuing with their high speed progression on Polk’s, one more rider would lose touch with the fast moving peloton. With a momentary truce drawn and a mutual agreement to wait for their fallen comrade, the pace slowed to a crawl. With a long glance over their shoulders and the missing rider out of sight, the remaining nine proceeded with their high tempo march to Mt Vernon. With a sprint zone scheduled at the end of Fitzbound, only both Deans went for the intermediate sprint competition with Dean S claiming the top spot. Another rarity along with Dean P losing out in a club sprint competition was Mr Pierson’s recognition of stop signage. Yes, Dean properly went to the stop sign and made the left while others wrongfully took the one way avenue. A quick discussion among teammates ensued about violations of MD traffic laws and all nine mutually agreed regardless of the locale, we must err on the side of caution for safety sake. The howling wind in the group’s right ear made it difficult to hear, but the point was made and the riders carried on.

With everyone on the same page about how to handle traffic furniture, it was back to OVC business as usual and leading the turbo charged surge over the bone jarring pavé of Ridge Rd was Dean P. Following suit was the rest and despite a quartering/cross wind, the field maintained a torrid 26 plus mph pace before they reached the left turn on New Rd. Making the left on New, the Ridge Rd slug-fest bumped the field down to eight and in an apparent attempt to grab a Strava KOM, the exclusive club of USAC licensed roadies led by Sir Beauchampi went into T.N.R mode and their high wattage team pursuit style effort was not for naught as the club’s prez tied the 2013 KOM (26.8 mph) set by our very own Dean S.
With the right on Polks, the heads of state agreed to change their single file ride formation and transition into a rotating paceline for the remainder of the ride. Looking as smooth as silk as they made their final gallop towards Fruitland, the rotating paceline with a crosswind on Allen Rd did start to create gaps and disrupt the team’s rhythm. Rather than call it quits, those affected by the wind direction (and the relentless pressure of the pace) would sit on through a few rotations. With all 8 principals reloaded and ready for the final surge to the stop sign at Camden, the pace and the HR’s as expected reached into T.N.R territory in the closing meters.

Jumping clear of the Tête de la Course and sensing fatigue among his fellow OVC chums, Dean P’s only request was for someone to go with him and Russ would do the honors and grab Dean’s wheel. The duo seemed poised to pedal away from the rest, but wait a second; this is OVC we’re talkin about. With the Black N Blue Calvary (Brian J, Dean P, Wes S, Barry, Caleb and Rick W) closing strong, the two leaders would be gathered in before they could reach the finish at Camden. Despite the last second capture, Dean P would surge ahead and grab the top spot. Wes snatched second…Sully third…Brian J fourth. Barry, Russ, Caleb and Russ would round out the top 8. Great ride guys and gal!

Following the ride, most of the 13 starters stuck around for food and beverage (and a belated birthday celebration for Dean’s wife Donna) at Specific Gravity. Happy Birthday Donna and congrats on your new ride! Thanks Dean and Barry for picking up the tab. We can’t thank you enough for your generosity