Made my first ever appearance at the infamousTuesday Night World Championship ride tonight. This is central Iowa's hardest weekly ride. I went there with a little bit of trepidation. I've heard stories about the brutality of this ride, and I was definitely not sure I was up to the challenge. With temps in the mid 50s, and a wind out of the WNW at 20 and gusting to 30 this north loop out of town was set to be pretty brutal. Got to Bike world early, added some long tights, skull cap and a windbreaker to my attire and proceeded to put my bike together. About 25 - 30 riders showed up, with a good showing by the girls of PRC and their scarlet clad team director, Donny Quixote. I saw some familiar faces (Lou, Cam, Pig, Troy, Kim, Stirling, Mable, Sweet Jane and Kelli), plus lots of people I'd seen on some other rides but not met. I also noticed that I was the only person on a steel framed bike. Not a good sign.
We took off at a relatively sedate pace, headed over towards Euclid, and then turned north onto 12th and Morningstar. Now out of the shelter of the houses we were really feeling the wind. By the time we got close to Saylorville Reservoir the wind was starting to show it's effect the group. The first hill saw a few of us fall off the back, and that would be the last I would see of the peloton for the rest of the night, other than watching them disappear into the horizon. Riding out north of Ankeny, I realized that I was going to be pushing into the wind for quite a while by myself, it was starting to get dark, and I didn't have a tail light with me. Jim Rubidoux was coming back towards me, so I turned around, introduced myself, and rode back south with him. We picked up Stirling from Rassy's. He and I cruised back into town on 6th together until passed close to his house. I rode the remainder of the ride back alone, enjoying the evening air and the sunset.
All in all a good ride. 1:47 ride time with an average heart rate of 152. I felt like I could have kept riding, but I am glad that I turned around when I did, as I was getting harder to spot on the road without any reflectors or lights.
On the ride back in, Stirling mentioned that my LHT was delivered Monday and is waiting for the shop to calm down a bit so it can be built. Hopefully I can pick it up tomorrow, and still make the Ritual Ride at 5:30. Otherwise, I probably won't be riding it until I get back from GRAID.