Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Ronde de Rosey '13

This year Thom put together a killer group of singlespeed mountain bikers to take part in Rosey's Ronde ride around the Boston area.
We had:
Thom (who's been riding a ton this spring)
Will (last year's DH40 winner)
Ramponi (the voice of new england mountain biking)
JFW (fresh out of retirement)
Sanidas (crushing it as always)
Maggs (all around strong rider)
and myself

Such a strong and fun team to ride around with.
In-between beers Saturday evening we were figuring out how to use every single bicycle part in Thom's basement on our singlespeeds for Sunday's ride/race.
Word on the street was this year's route had a lot more dirt. Perfect for our mountain bikes.

The original plan was to ride from Wrentham to the start in Brookline with the help of mass transit but the weekend schedules do not allow us to take mass transit that early in the morning. Boo. Piled into the Miniature Boogie Van we did.

After getting our act together we were one of the later teams to start. Maggs was our navigator as he had his GPS with the route. Not long down the road (a mile or two?) we were into our first dirt section and didn't really see a whole lot of road after that.

The 16T cog was big in the woods but we eventually got used to it. My legs were very heavy but somehow they kept on turning the pedals over all day.

At one point we stopped for some food and water and I looked down on my computer and saw we only went 28 miles. 28 miles out of 60 and we were flying. I was holding on for dear life while Will and Andy kept on crushing it way off the front. I let everyone know we are only about halfway into the ride and almost simultaneously everyone gave the look of horror on their face. Guess we all were not conserving energy and riding as if we'll be out for 5-6 hours. I thought this would help slow us down but that was wishfull thinking. We kept on trucking at some high rate of speeds.

Around mile 45-50 Will suggested we take a detour and add on some sweet singletrack for another 5 or so miles. Since we weren't 'racing' for first place we figured what the hell. Lets have some fun.
Got some sweet views but Will's loop was mostly climbing. Something my body was not liking seeing as my legs felt like cinderblocks and my body was cold all day. We thought the sun would come out behind the clouds but that never happened. Instead we were left riding in cloud cover and 45F weather. No matter how hard I worked my body was still cold. This scared me all day for I thought my body was shutting down. Somehow I just kept on pedaling since I was still able to turn the pedals over.
photo: Andy

Somewhere in the woods goofing off. This photo pretty much sums up the entire ride. No matter how much pain each of us was in and how fatigued we were we continued to have a smile on our face and make the best of what we had.

Rarely do I get to ride in a group this strong with such a positive outlook on the ride. This is why I choose to do this ride/race. This is why I chose to do the events I do. People like our team. We do this stuff because it is fun and this group makes it fun. Guess there is something about mashing such large gears in the woods while everyone is goofing off.

At one point we were riding with Matt Roy and The Wilcox. Turns out they went on to win the race. Guess we were in first place at some point. Yeah, the seven crazy singlespeed mountain bikers that couldn't group up and ride a paceline on the road sections if we wanted to (there was always one of us popping onto the sidewalk and ripping through someone's front yard).

After the ride we were starving so we spent the better part of the rest of the day at the bar where the start/finish was.
Big plates of food and many glasses of beer.
Supposedly the Strava people also stopped by. I should have told them I stopped using that website last year and have no desire to continue with it.
Reminiscing about the ride and talking about our plans for this year's Wilderness 101. Yup. With the exception of JFW, we'll all be converging in PA later this summer to crash the W101. My first 100miler mountain bike race since 2008.

Despite having almost zero snap in my legs to accelerate, but the end of the day (64miles and 5.5hrs of moving time (6-7hrs ellapsed time)) my right ankle was quite achy. I was kind of expecting that since this was the largest block of effort (and hardest effort) I've done since before my accident in October. My body was also ready to shut down. Later that Sunday evening I made the commanding decision to not ride back home and catch a car ride. Maggs was kind enough to give me a lift (and my house was completely out of his way). This allowed me to sleep in a couple of hours on Monday and take my time going about my Monday.

By the time Maggs and I got back into Hartford it was mid afternoon and the sun was shining (for once). It was too nice not to ride and I figured I'd give Maggs a taste of my local trails.

A slight re-gearing (he favored his 19T cog while I threw an 18T on) and we were off to do a casual and relaxed loop around the West Hartford Reservoir.
Monday's post Ronde ride was much needed. Even though I was achy and sore my legs needed the exercise. Active rest they call it.
And just like that the weekend was over. Almost 172 miles in three days.


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