Saturday was looking forward to actually riding the Brands route WITH the Brands group. Showed up at the shop for the 7:00am start. It was a somewhat reduced group as a lot of the regulars were doing a century ride that day. Mike W. was there and we headed out with a group of 6 riders.
We had an easy pace out to Bethpage park, then a bit of adrenaline as one rider crashed at a tricky intersection. A car was approaching, and as the rider hit the brakes, the rear wheel locked up. She went down hard and ended up with some road rash on arms and legs. I offered to ride back to the start with her but she wanted to continue the ride. So we all regrouped and continued.
I made strong efforts on the uphill sections and we regrouped after each one. When we got to the turnaround on the LIE, I decided to split off from the group (for a few reasons) and picked up the pace for the remaing 25 miles on my own. Had some post-ride soreness in my right knee for the rest of the day so I wasn't sure about what I would be up for on Sunday.
Sunday morning, and its a clear but humid day. The forcasted rain didn't appear so I fueled up with a bowl of cereal and coffee and went out for another edition of the Brands loop. Two miles into the ride I realized that I forgot my repair kit at home, so I looped back home to pick it up. Tailwinds up to the LIE and had a good pace going east. Just before the turnaround I spotted two riders ahead of me and as I caught up to them I realized it was Mike and Bob, who were also on yesterday's ride. We rode the return leg of the LIE service road together. Mike was riding the new carbon frame he built up and it looks pretty cool. Its an unbranded Wilier Le Roi frame with Ultegra SL, Deda bars and stem, and Thomson seatpost, NICE! They went south on Round Swamp Rd. while I headed north to do my little West Hills extension.
When I eventually headed south, I encountered a headwind and gray skies. It looked like rain was on the way but I made it home before anything came down. Another good weekend of training and some variations of the usual solo rides. Starting to think about getting ready for Gold Coast Century and some climbing!