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OVC tested a new format this past weekend, and thanks to fantastic member participation, it was a great success. Rather than a traditional, moderate winter training pace, the club tried an up-tempo ride on the traditional Tuesday Night Ride course. Despite the weather being a little more dismal than forecasted, our hearty OVC’ers were not deterred. A stellar and talented crowd of over 40 riders rolled out of Fruitland a couple ticks past 10:00AM.
After a few miles of warm-up, the group accelerated up to its cruising speed of 23-25mph. Wet tarmac and road spray kept everyone on alert, but the group soon found a comfortable pace and kept it steady for the next 35 miles. About half the riders took turns at the front, with the others wisely conserving energy in the back. The pace quickened somewhat in the last mile or two, but everyone showed remarkable restraint by not going into full race-mode. Nearly all the riders survived with the main field for the entire 40 miles. Great riding, OVC! The 42 mile course was completed in about 1 hr 56 min for an overall average speed of almost 22 mph -- subtract out our warmup and the average speed was over 23 mph.
Post-ride, a belated birthday cake was presented to President Hickman courtesy of the Vuncannons. After a quick song in Russ's honor, many riders retired to SG for pizza, beer, and dessert. Our long lost colleague, Sir Beauchampi, kindly treated the group to lunch -- thanks, Barry!
Look for more rides like this in the future. This was likely the fastest ride that many club members have ever undertaken. But it shows that under the right circumstances, many riders are capable of hanging in there at race pace for over 1.5 hours. The key is club-wide support.
Thanks to everyone who was able to attend!