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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Blue Moose Run

Band practice was canceled again. It was so easy to schedule when half the band was laid off or on reduced hours. I won't say it sucks that we're all back to working full time, but it puts a crimp in our rehearsal schedule.

I don't know if the practice will end up moving to another slot in the week, but if it does, I now know what I'll do on Thursday nights.

I've put off trying this ride. The Animals from the Brewery ride appeared to also be, for the most part, the Animals of the Blue Moose ride, and the JoCo Bike Club site describes the rides in very similar terms.

I am not an Animal, at least not in cycling terms. I aspire to it. My dream is in a few years to be the tall skinny guy who shows up with, say a Cruzbike Silvio, a flamboyant Hawaiian shirt, and when those fast, arrogant bastards try to shed the freak they find out the freak can hold his own.

In other words, I want to be the fast, arrogant bastard on the weird-ass bike with the Aloha jersey.

I made the first light, and this allowed me to entertain a fantasy that I could at least keep the winky-blinks of the lead group in sight for awhile. By 63rd, I was waiting for the group that missed the light so I'd know which way to turn. I could see quite a ways in every direction, but couldn't see any sign of those skinny guys on carbon fiber bikes that cost more than my car and weigh less than a cat.

I fell in with a foursome that included Larry on a recumbent and Mike on a racing bike. Larry was a bit older and wasn't in a hurry, and I could just barely keep up with him. Barely, but I could. This is progress, compared to the time in mid-September when I showed up at the Brewery and would have ridden nearly the entire route (if I could remember it from the map) in solitude if it weren't for one of the neatest people I've ever met hanging back and humoring me.

Larry led us on a shortcut to avoid the worst of the hills in the northern end of the ride, and we gradually got passed by pretty much everyone by the time we got back to the Moose. Actually we shed one of our foursome when he decided to finish with the Brookside group when we passed 79th & Tomahawk.

He missed out on a couple of fairly long, but not intense climbs, up Outlook and later up Belinder, but he also missed out on Tomahawk coming down from 75th to the Moose. It's my kind of terrain: downhill forever with the right of way all the way, so you can pin your ears back and flat out fly.

I feared the speed humps, but on a bike they're not that bad.

I'd love to tell you for sure how far we rode, but I didn't have my computer, having flaked and left it on my desk Monday. I drove the route as best as I could remember it, but I know I messed it up around the lead up to Roland Park. I'll say it was 18, maybe 19 miles, and we finished it in about an hour and a half, roughly a 12 mph average. A guess at my top speed based on past experience, I think I topped out 30-ish. There's no super fast downhills on what we did (though I gather there are for the route the Animals took).

Great ride, great route, great mix of Animals and social riders. I did a rough count before the ride and I think we had about 30 riders including one tandem and one recumbent when we set out. Makes me wonder what they get in July and August when the weather's warm and it's light until late.

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