About a dozen strong riders -- Dean S., Brian F, Crystal, Glenn, Jason, Brian J., Maria, Roscoe, Kevin, Caleb, Jeff (who’d ridden up from Pocomoke), and Mark -- rolled out from Rise Up in Salisbury on Saturday for a 65 mile tour to Public Landing and back.  Temps were nominally moderate, but high humidity made conditions a little more grueling than expected.  


The trip down to PL was smooth and efficient.  The double-paceline group hardly noticed the slight headwind and arrived at their destination in about 1.5 hours.  Of course, the last 1.3 miles were into the wind and at a 27 mph pace.  Dean S. took the honors, with Jason and Mark right on his heals.  After getting a team picture and watching some poor guy get pinched by a crab, the crew rolled out for the 35 mi journey home.  


The pace ramped up mid-ride one more time as the group approached US 113 outside of Snow Hill.  Favorable winds and smooth tarmac pushed speeds to over 30mph for the 1 mile stretch.  Also, Barry, after 36.5 miles alone in the wilderness, dramatically rendezvoused with the group at just the right time -- glad you could track us down, Barry!  I believe that Dean S. again claimed the prize, but not after getting a serious run for his money from Mark and Jason.  Average speed for that mile was about 33 mph.  


After rehydrating in Snow Hill, the group soldiered on for the 20 mile push home.  A few riders were feeling the effects of the heat and looking a little weak in the knees.  Just about this time, Dean S.’s tire exploded, requiring some emergency work to get him home.  I suspect sabotage was the cause so that someone else could win the final sprint up St. Lukes.  


With a tailwind at their backs and many strong riders remaining, the finale would not disappoint.  The last 2.5 miles was completed at a 29+mph pace, stretching everyone to their limits.  As the line approached, Caleb dug deep and took a monster pull.  I followed with a burst to base of the bridge, and Jason easily came around for the victory with Mark not too far behind.  

Several riders retired to SG to rehydrate with liquid bread and to lower their core temperatures to a reasonable level.  The 65 mile course was completed in about 3 hours 5 mins for an average speed of just over 21 mph.  Great ride, OVC!