A windy morning in Manorville as the group assembled for the final 2007 Early Birds ride. Actually, the ride continues year-round but most of the East End Cycling team will switch over to Trevor's ride out of Port Jefferson for the winter. Also about a 55-mile ride but it starts at 8:30am instead of 7:30am and there is no food stop.
Today's ride was intense (for me). It blasted out of the parking lot and several riders were dropped in the first mile. It didn't really regroup until there was a flat tire about 10 miles into the ride. It was together again until the hills by the "tanks", at which point a group of 5 went off the front. I chased by myself, about 50 yards behind. Once over the tanks, myself and another rider were chasing a group of four.
We were HAULING down Sound Avenue, and a 3rd rider went of the back of the lead group. So now it was 3 chasing 3. The front group bypassed the regroup point and we did too so as not to lose them. A few miles later, the front group let up so we could catch on. Then the 6 of us pacelined to the deli in Cutchogue.
The remainder of the group arrived at the deli a few minutes after us. The group was mostly together on the return leg of the ride. A second flat, but it was repaired quickly.
At Rt. 51, two broke away. At first I just intended to close the gap and follow the wheels, but no one came with me, so we were three in front for a short while. When we go to the steep part of 51, I was dropped and chased, on my own, most of the way down 51. The group behind was hammering and caught me, then the lead two, just as we turned onto Rt. 111. A hard pace again split the group into several pieces but I was able to stay with the front.
I know, its not a race, but I definitely rode as hard as I would in any race. A really good, tough, ride to finish off the EBs!
Some of PyZahl's pictures from todays ride. Also, check out his ride report.
At the start in Manorville.
Rest stop in Cutchogue.
Waiting while they change flat #2.