Our local bike club (CSP Express) recently affiliated with a large local organization, zMotion. The affiliation allows us to keep our identity, but reap all the benefits of the larger club, and at about 1,000 members, have a strong voice in local and state issues on cycling.
zMotion is sponsored by Zimmerman Advertising agency, and it's president, "Captain Pat" is a major hammerhead. He and his lovely wide opened their beautiful home to us and sponsored a "50 mile" ride from his place in Parkland, FL (near Boca Raton) to Weston (west of Ft. Lauderdale) and back. When this ride was first proposed, I told my honey that we should take the tandem and do it. She was a bit reluctant as her previous long ride was 44 mi in September, but she agreed to try. I told her that we had a bail out plan as the route down and back would take us right past our home at about the 8 mi (and 42 mi) point, so we could always ride home and take the other car back the pool post ride party. That gave her enough peace of mind to agree. (She later confessed after the ride that she was hoping it would be rained out!)
Anyway, the idea was to bring zMotion and our club together for a "social" 18-22mph ride, and breakfast hat Captain Pat's. About 75 riders about equally split between the 2 clubs, showed up at 7am for the 7:30 ride. It was in the low 60's and overcast with a light fog. It was chilly at first, but we warmed up just nice after a mile or so.
Joy is a "C" rider and I'm a A- B+ sort of guy, so we managed to hang on ok. We suffer a bit on the take offs, but holding speed in a peleton on the 43 lb Lambo is no problem. The pace remained quite civil for the first 17 mi or so, about 20. We found a comfortable place in the back 1/3, with occasional rallys toward the front now and then. As we approached a major 4 lane road from a side street, one of our members hit a sharp stone and blew out both tires. We yelled "flat!" but the majority of the peleton had already rounded the corner and taken off. After the repair the remaining 18 resumed the pace and went another 6 miles when one rider suffered a major cassette failure. Once he had contacted his wife, we proceeded.
This was billed as a "no stop" ride, but we already had 2 under our belt, and so we decided to stop at the gas station that serves as the turn around point for the Sunday "B" ride. Several people took a potty break and the rest of us GEL'ed up and took on water. These three rests were just what Joy needed, so as we started out from the stop at 28 miles to head back, I felt pretty confident that Joy would be ok.
The next several miles were into a pretty stiff head wind that had kicked up, but we kept low and hung on the back. After that, the rest of the ride was north and east, so the headwind was not so much of a problem.
As we approached our home on the return we (she, really) decided to "go all the way." She wanted to do 50 mi.
As we approached our car at Captain Pat's, the odo read 54.24 mi, 3:10:57. She did it! Now as I write this we should have made a 5 mile loop so she could have ridden her age. I'll be a gentleman and not divulge it, and I'm sure you will with respect a lady's privacy and not do any math here!
After stowing our gear we went into Captain Pat's and enjoyed a great breakfast buffet poolside, and great company and converstions. The main group had arrived about an hour earlier (so much for the easy 18 - 22 pace! ) but there was plenty of food left. As we arrived the skys cleared and the sun came out and it was beautiful. The cycling gods were looking after us today as it was cool and overcast for the ride, and just so nice for the breakfast party!
Here is a link to our ride:Click here.
And a pic of us on the Lambo and a friend on an earlier ride: