Saturday March 29, 2014
About a dozen BCC members showed up for the first Saturday morning training ride of the season. We met at Roy’s house for a chilly start under cloudy skies, much colder than predicted by the NWS. Fortunately, there were bagels and juice to give a few extra calories of heat to the start and Roy lent an ear warmer to yours truly, who showed up in a winter clothing deficit.
Fingers went numb for the first couple of miles, but once the sun broke through the clouds I could feel the warmth radiating to my extremities and knew that frostbite was no longer imminent. A few miles of spinning on the flats in a paceline got us back into a familiar groove and before you knew it people were shedding layers and talking about how perfect the weather turned out to be.
A left turn took us up St. Vrain toward Hwy. 36 and suddenly all thoughts of being cold were gone. The pace picked up and pretty soon I was wishing I had ditched my Windstopper jacket at the last stop sign. Nothing like a portable sauna to jumpstart your metabolism. The group split into two and we finished the climb and stopped to regroup at 36. Alternate routes for different abilities were proposed and sports drinks and snacks were consumed while we waited for our heart rates to stabilize again!
Our group decided on the Niwot Rd/Three Sisters route and we happily pedaled downhill toward our goal, forming a nice paceline with everyone rotating every 30 seconds or so. There was one eerie section where a farmer was burning a big part of his fields and as we cut through the smoke in our choreographed rotation, it reminded us that not everyone watches the news or remembers that this is still wildfire season.
The first hill of The Three Sisters seemed bigger than I remembered from last season. Even though we made the stoplight (for the first time ever I think), it didn’t give me the momentum I was hoping for. As usual, the group splintered on the climb and Jonathan and Nick turned on some afterburner device that they must have installed on their bikes over the winter and left the rest of us to figure it out on our own. Once I could see the “stop sign ahead” warning sign though, I gave what I had left but Mike sailed smoothly past me yards before the end with a sardonic grin on his face, reminding me later that the instigator of the sprint rarely wins it. A short regroup at the usual parking lot below and we were off again.
A spirited pace took us the rest of the way home and before you knew it we were standing around Roy’s driveway enjoying an adult beverage generously donated by Oscar Blues and celebrating a fun ride and the safe return of the group. A good natured guy on the road saw our bright yellow Boulder Cycling Club sign and pulled in on his bike to inquire about the BCC. We gave him the details of the club and he said he would check it out on Tuesday. With our membership quota met for the day, we disbanded with smiles on our faces.
All in all, a great start to the beginning of what looks to be a fun year for everyone! Hope to see you all on Tuesday’s ride from Boulder Beer.
PS The new Ride Ambassador Program is in place and getting great reviews, with regroup stops, no-drop or no-stop ride options and ride ambassadors and a ride sweep out on the route. Check it out on Tuesday!