Sunday, November 18, 2012

3GR: Pushing The Pause Button

Frosty, Chilly Start
Looking at the calendar, I am pretty amazed at the amount of Friday evenings and Saturday mornings I have committed to doing the 3GR. Since April I have only missed a few weeks of either Friday evening or Saturday 3GR's. That's seven months of riding this group ride.

Now with next Saturday being the Turkey Burn and the following Saturday being Global Fat Bike Ride day, it would mean that the next Saturday up on the docket for a possible 3GR would be December 8th. Then I would have to postpone doing another one due to birthdays, Christmas, and New Years. So......yeah. With the outstanding chance that we'll have some really cold, snowy, or icy weather by the 8th, and certainly in January, I think it is time to push the pause button on 3GR till things get better next Spring.

But there was this last ride, the last 3GR of 2012. I got out of the house to see a landscape of frost and ice where there was any water. It wasn't all that chilly, being into the upper 30's, but it sure looked like the edge of Winter was nigh. I wasn't worried this day though. the temperatures were forecast to soar into the 50's, eventually, and a light Southeasterly was predicted. I knew I would be meeting at least two other riders. Ali from work, and a friend of hers, who was a "rookie" at riding gravel.

Ali and Chelsea waiting on the train to pass.
I didn't see many humans or animals on the way over to the meeting spot. Strange, and maybe a fitting end to things for the year. Well, as usual, I arrived early- way too early, and I started fidgeting around with my bike and snapped off a few images on my point and shoot.

Moments later a white car pulled up and I heard the familiar voice of Ali saying hello. I walked over and met her friend, Chelsea, who produced a Mongoose branded department store mountain bike shaped object to ride. But hey- at least she was there to give'r. Ali was sporting her SE Racing Stout single speed.

So I could see this ride becoming a slower, more relaxed one. There were no other late comers, so it was just us three. We headed out Northward and the flatter terrain fostered okay speeds. I knew that wouldn't last, and I was okay with that. The turn on to Mount Vernon Road brings the first steep, and sure enough, this would be the point where we'd really slow down. But ya know what? Those gals got up that one pretty well.

Then we hit some more flatter stuff, and cruising up towards Janesville was easy. All of us were chatting occasionally and were enjoying the ride. Then we would reach the area near Camp Ingawanis, and there the hills kick in which would dramatically change things.

Looking back: The 3GR was a lot of fun in 2012!
I told Ali and Chelsea that the hills would be coming and I'd likely be bombing the down hills, which would separate us for a bit. Boy! Did it ever. I had to wait several minutes at the corner where we go Southward again for Ali and Chelsea to catch back on.

By this time I had committed to riding my Orange Crush in a single gear and working on my pedaling form, especially going up hill. Slow, meticulous circles were the order of the day. This sure helped keep my speed in check, and more importantly, kept me from getting too far ahead of the gals.

I had fun, and I think the gals were troopers. The ride took a bit longer than usual, so I didn't stop at my usual coffee spot, but instead I turned for home, getting there just in time for lunch. The slow work really worked me! I was torched when I got home, and I am sure it did me good to be riding like that. Probably should do that sort of thing more often!

Well, anyway, it was a unique ending to my gravel group ride experiment. I'll likely start up 3GR next year in the Spring. Thanks to anyone and everyone that participated in 3GR over the past several months.

1 comment:

Exhausted_Auk said...

Thank you for holding the 3GR rides this year. I enjoyed the ones I attended, and I wish I could have ridden more of them.