Sunday, November 3, 2013

Ride #2 - 10/11/2013

Ride #2 – 10/11/2013

My second group ride occurred on October 11, 2013.  Last time we had 8 riders; this time it was only 5.  Maybe that was because Jolyn, who planned the route, noted that it was quite a bit hillier with a 1.548 ft elevation change compared to 255 ft on the last ride.   

Jolyn had us meeting at the Branch River Golf & Tennis club in Branch, Wisconsin (3212 N Union Rd. Cato, WI 54230) and following the route below, which she noted was about 19 miles:

Right (south) North Union Road out of the parking lot   0.3 miles
Right (west) Hershau Rd.                                                      0.1 miles
Right (north) Fairway Dr.                                                      1.3 miles
Right (east) Hwy 10                                                               0.1 miles
Left (north) Danmar Rd.                                                       0.5 miles
Left (west) San Rd.                                                                6.0 miles
Left (south) Grimms Rd.                                                       2.0 miles

              Stop at T intersection of Goodwin & Grimms Rds for view

Left (east) Hilltop Rd.                                                          6.1 miles
Left (north) North Union Rd - back to club                      1.3 miles

 We met at 0930 in the club parking lot and I was feeling pretty good before we started.  The weather was cool and a fog was just lifting so there was very little wind.  The leaves were really starting to change colors and it looked the route would provide some nice views.

The group included Jolyn, Stew, Jeff, Mary, and me.  The way Jolyn had laid out the ride, we would finish with the hilliest portion last, which was amazingly enough, was on Hilltop road.  Nobody really wanted to do that, sp the group decided to ride the course in reverse.    I think this helped me out a lot, because I would have really struggled with the hills at the end of the ride and could now tackle the hills early on when I had the most strength and energy.
 Just as the group headed out, I noticed my left pedal clip had come apart and there was some hardware missing.  I had just had the bike out to make sure tires were good and to check the bike over, so I was surprised to see the pedal in that condition.  I quickly disassembled the rest of the clip and threw it in the back of my truck since the pedal would work ok without it.  Stew had noticed my issue and waited for me, while the other three had headed out.  After I made the pedal workable, we rushed to catch up with the group, just in time to reach the beginning of Hilltop road.

Let me tell you that this road challenged me and had several big hills.  I spent the majority of the time staring down at the road by my front tire and concentrated on keeping the bike inching up the hill.  About halfway during that stretch, after topping one of the higher hills, the group stopped and waited for me and Mary to catch up.  A few minutes to catch my breath and we were off again.  While the hill from the last ride almost finished me off, I seemed to have a better recovery on these hills.  I attributed this to being able to start out fresh on the hills rather than tackling them at the end of the ride. 
The last ride, I was pretty much able to pick a gear and stay in most of the time.  Not so with this route.  I was constantly shifting gears and it sure seemed like I spent a lot of time in my granny gear.   At least the big uphills were followed by some nice downhill runs that allowed me to recover and catch up with the group a bit.  I never could really catch up with the main group unless they stopped and waited, but give me some time and I’ll be right there with them.   The turn on to Grimms road started another big uphill, but the slope was more gradual than those on Hilltop and just past the hill we stopped for the planned rest stop at Goodwin and Grimm. 
After a quick rest, we continued and shortly after crossing over highway 10, took a right onto San road.  This long stretch had a very slight incline so while we were frequently going uphill, it wasn’t much more work than level ground and there was one spot where there was a nice long downhill where I was able to get the bike up to 31 MPH.   There was one larger hill, where the group stopped and waited for Mary and me to catch up.   
We followed sans to Danmar which took us back to highway 10.  A short jaunt on highway 10 and we took a left onto Fairway drive.  This was a nice scenic stretch with plenty of trees and curvy road, we just had to be careful as the road was still wet from the morning fog and there were lots of leaves on the road.  The main group was way ahead of me by this time and there were a few times I wasn’t certain if I missed the next turn or not, but just when I was about to stop and check the map, I would catch a glimpse of the main group ahead of me.  
Eventually we merged back onto North Union road, which ran past the Branch River & Tennis Club entrance, where we finished off the ride.  As I was putting my bike in the back of my truck, I found the hardware for the pedal clip, which made me happy, since I could easily fix the clip before I used the bike again.