Cool damp conditions did little to deter 13 riders from taking the start line this past Saturday from Specific Gravity. Up to the challenge of nearly 70 miles of tempo on wet roads and a nagging NW wind were Dean P, Roscoe, Bruce, Caleb, Glen, Brian F, Brian J, Kevin G, Maria, Jim B, Bill H, Ted and Russ. With a rather timely departure the field of 13 would suffer their first mechanical just 15 minutes into the ride. With the flat fixed in a jiffy, the group was back up to speed and hammering their way towards Powellville. Unfortunately one more puncture would halt the group’s momentum, but again the flat was fixed in no time and the group would set sail for their next destination located down the road in the town of Pittsville.

Minutes down the road on Popular Neck Jim B’s tubular would be the third victim to fall prey to the road grime. Unfortunately Jim didn’t have a spare, but he did have his cell to call his wife to come to the rescue. Now down to a dozen, the field would zig zag its way over to Laurel and as the field rolled to the stop light in Laurel, Maria complaining of leg pain would abandon the rest of the ride. A call to a family member assured her teammates she would be picked up and delivered safely back to SG.

With Maria in good hands, the remaining 11 riders would navigate their way through downtown Laurel and make their way over to Dean’s mom’s beautiful lakeside home. The kind jester by the team was uplifting to Dean’s mom as she is scheduled for surgery this week to remove a brain tumor. With a team photo shot including Dean’s mom, the Black n Blue Train would roll out of Laurel knowing full well that they had brought joy to a great lady in her time of need. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dean’s mom and family.

Making their way out of Laurel, Dean P, Roscoe, Bruce, Caleb, Glen, Brian F, Brian J, Kevin G, Bill H, Ted and Russ would begin their journey south and within minutes down Susan Beach Rd the group would suffer some minor separation. Off the front a group of four would hold off the rest of the peloton only to be caught just before the stop sign on 54. With all 11 riders back in the fold, the next rendezvous would be a few miles down the road on Jersey. Before making the right on Jersey Rd, the field on Waller Rd was already under pressure and as Roscoe dive bombed the corner on Waller and Jersey, it was evident that the finale was to start sooner than later courtesy of the Lion of Laurel.

As Roscoe sped away, Russ would grab a gear or two and go in pursuit of the lone leader. With Russ successfully making the capture, Roscoe and Russ would have two more dancing partners to join in their breakaway effort and for the next few miles Roscoe, Russ, Dean and Kevin G would work together to hold off a modest size group of chasers. Reaching the 4 way at Naylor and Jersey, the lead quartet would sit up and wait for the rest. Cresting the Jersey Rd overpass, only Brian J would have the biscuits to latch on to the 4 frontrunners and for the next few miles to the “hood”, a final selection of Roscoe, Dean, Kevin and Russ would lose their 5th wheel and begin their final lunge for the line.

With the official line at the 4 way of Booth and Lake, Dean P would outlast Roscoe to the line. Kevin and Russ would sail across the line seconds later almost in unison to tie for the 3rd spot (nice job Kevin!!!). Brian J would solo in for 4th and further down the road Bruce, Caleb, Glen, Brian F, Bill H and Ted would stroll in to finish off another weekend 3 plus hour grind in the saddle. Unfortunately our resident movie maker's camera was not on so there'll be no video footage to capture another epic OVC finale. Sorry guys!

A long 3.5 hour plus day in the saddle would be capped off with liquid refreshment and some hot pizza at Gravity. Thanks to all who came out and supported another fun but challenging OVC winter training ride.