The Burnsville Metric is one of my favorite organized rides, so despite some ugly weather forecasts several of us headed over to Burnsville, NC Friday night to take part. Like last year some of stayed at the NuWray Inn, which is at the start and finish line.
The group watched the Friday night cruisers on the town square, settled in for sleep, then awoke to have a good, large breakfast. No shuttle to the start — we just rolled out the front door and waited for the crowd to roll.
The start was at 9 AM sharp. The route starts down a long, narrow road that connects with 19E. There are plenty of squirrelly riders so I played it conservative and waited until the highway before I started to move up through the crowds. After connecting with John P, John L, and Susan we joined up with a large pack and started rolling.
The first 20 miles passed at a 21.5 average and would have been faster if the group had been more coordinated. For some reason the pack slowed every time someone pulled off the front and next rider pulled through. The one time I came to the front I pulled through, held a steady 24 over some rollers and realized that I had opened a gap of about 100 feet. Not wanting to ride solo, I eased up and waited for the pack to close the gap.
The second 20 miles would have been about as fast if it hadn’t been for a mishap at the 32 mile mark. Our group made a sharp right, started to climb a short, steep hill, then I found myself on the ground. Up front, three geniuses decided to stop at the top of the hill, and rather than getting out of the way, they blocked the road. Several riders squeezed by, but others got on the brakes. John L hit Stuart’s wheel, and the gap I’d let open in front of me (figuring the pace would slow a bit on the rise) suddenly disappeared. I hit John’s downed bike, endo’d, and landed on John. The rider behind me followed suit and came to a rest partially on top of me.
No one was hurt beyond a few scrapes. My rear wheel was warped so I adjusted my brake to get some clearance, then rolled on, albeit at a slower pace. That was okay; we were about into the hills anyway. I settled in, rode a comfortable pace up the longer climbs, and finished at a 17+ average for the 59 miles.
Next, how we completely lucked out, missed a rainstorm, and enjoyed 37 fantastic miles.