Sunday, June 9, 2013

Pedal Faster (They're going to get away!)

Friday night the edges of Tropical Storm Andrea brought flooding rains. Saturday morning it wasn't raining, so we decided to head over to the Saturday Everglades Bicycle Club group ride start at Miami City Hall. The ride leaders were there, but there were not all that many riders. Some of the 18-22+ mph group decided to head out on their own. They peeled out. The remaining bunch of 18-22+ mph riders and their leader joined the 16-18 mph group. Al and I knew even before we headed out that this was not going to be a cozy social ride for us. The day was overcast, but respectably hot and humid. It was going to be interesting.

There were lots of substantial puddles (Is it a "puddle" if it covers half the road?) and a fair amount of debris littering the roads. But nothing off-putting. The early pace never wavered below 17-18 mph. 18-20 mph was way more common. At one point a very small, very fast group overtook and passed our group. A contingent from our group sped forward, matched them for a while at a bit over 25 mph, then slowed until we caught up with them. Their return to the group was greeted with appropriate questions about speed, etc., and much back-patting. A bit later we took our first break in Deering Estates, then our second at Black Point Marina.

The return trip to Miami City Hall was rock solid fun. The day was warming up. The pace quietly moved up. While the stoplights and turns forced slow downs, the group was charging along in the 20-22 mph range. One rider faltered and was dropped. One of the ride leaders dropped back, leaving the group to accompany that rider (and any others) who got dropped by the main group. As we approached Deering Estates for our third break, some of our riders split off, waving goodbye. Over half of the remaining pack waved goodbye over the next few miles. By the time we reached Coconut Grove there were just six of us. Al and I were pedalling furiously, sweating copiously, and breathing very hard, but we rolled into the City Hall parking lot with the group. At which point we slipped through a block or two of little passages from City Hall to Fresh Market deli. Where delicious air conditioning surrounded us inside as we selected our post ride muffins, and a soft breeze cooled us down as we munched muffins and re-hydrated at a table under awning of the deli's outdoor patio. Refreshed and cooler, we pedalled north to Brickell and home.

That was fun.