Fewer daylight hours brings an awareness that the heart of the riding season is drawing to a close. A lot of folks will keep going through the winter, but for now the evening rides are starting sooner and going shorter. Even the weekend ride start times are adjusting to the change in daylight hours.
But man, today didn’t feel anything like a typical September day, and when we rolled out this morning for the Oak Ridge ride, I didn’t feel like I was standing on the doorstep of autumn. It was heating up when we left at around 8:30, and it kept getting warmer.
Whether it was a conscious response to the unseasonal weather or not, the group took its time starting, then settled into a calm pace. Everyone was chatting, and even when we hit a long, flattish stretch where the pace always tends to climb, no one seemed inclined to go very fast.
So until the Belews Creek hill, we took it easy. The hill itself (which averages 8% over 3/4 mile) wasn’t as bad as it seemed back in the early days of ’05. We rested and regrouped at the top, then picked up the pace some. The group would split, then reform at the turns.
The consensus among the group was that this is one of our best local rides. I’d agree. The roads are interesting, the scenery good, and the folks who run the small grocery at the top of Belews Creek hill are very hospitable.
Want to join the ride? Visit the GVC ride calendar page and send Dave Meyers an email. He’ll let you know where we’re riding each Saturday; chances are about 1-in-3 that we’ll be riding the Oak Ridge loop.