17
May
10

2010 Richardson Wild Ride!

Richardson Wild Ride Route

The 2010 Richardson Wild Ride was a rally that practically everyone had second thoughts about attending, due to the threat of inclement weather, but once we got there and rode it, it turned out to be one of the best weekends of riding yet this year!

We started out at the WildFlower Festival, a weeekend-long event held in Richardson to celebrate spring and support several worthy community causes, including the Richardson Cancer Center. Rolling up to the start line, I ran into several fellow pirates, along with friends from other clubs, and numerous clients, past and present. The chatter was cut short by a few announcements, then the National Anthem, and when the siren blew, we rolled out.

The course for this year was different from previous years (for me, at least – it may have changed last year). Gone were the numerous lefts and rights through neighborhoods. Instead, we took at right at Park Lane, and stayed DUE EAST for several dozen miles, until we got out just past the Lake Lavon dam. This was excellent, as we were able to keep speeds high, ride some better roads, and focus on pacelines and shedding some of the weaker riders. I hate to say that it comes to that, but honestly, it does. However, early, maybe no more than 6 miles in, maybe closer to 10, the same Tandem cyclists whom we rode with last week, along with National-calibre cyclist and coach Brian Fawley, slipped away. That was really my only, and largest mistake – I let them go, and they ended up SEVEN MINUTES UP on us at one point. No amount of pursuit would work, and we later learned that Fawley had FLATTED, and they STILL took over 2 minutes on us at the end. WOW!

My only real complaint about my fellow riders is that there were largely just about 8 of us doing the large majority of the work. Several Top Guns were in the pack, and McKinney Velo and PACC represented themselves well, as did Mirage, with Ben Sewell and Jordan Chaney taking strong, regular pulls, but by and large, the rest of the group just settled in and did nothing but eat cheeseburgers and drink milkshakes. Guys, I don’t care if you take a fake pull or not, but you could honestly show up at the front once or twice, at least for the cameras! C’mon!

The day itself ended up being absolutely perfect. Temps were mild, the wind was absolutely minimal, and the humidity was kept at bay. Threatened storms never once appeared. The 64 miles were covered in 2:35, right under 25mph for the average. I do need to boast about two comments made separately. On the outbound leg, I was feeling incredible, and was pulling the pack on some of the 1-2% false flats, when a PACC rider told me I had to back off because neither he nor anyone else could hold my wheel… Not that I believed it, but it was flattering nonetheless. Later, toward the end of the ride, as we were heading back in for the final miles in town, Chris Powers, a phenomenal cyclist with a rich pedigree of victories underneath his legs, rolled up, patted me on the back and complimented me on a good ride with strong pulls. Honestly, that’s really flattering, when someone of that calibre offers a respectful compliment. Earlier, during the chase when we thought we might actually be able to catch the Tandem and Fawley, Powers had come to the front and given a MONSTER 3+ minute pull. The whole time, I was right no his wheel. I don’t know if his teammates were able to keep up at that point.

The finish itself was neutral, since we had nothing really to race for, and we sat up as we went under the banner, congratulating all who finished with the lead pack on a good ride. In the end, there were maybe 25 of us. The Tandem and Fawley ended up breaking 2:31, I believe, which again had me popping my eyeballs back in to my sockets. I’ve never ridden with a tandem that was so smooth and integrated in to the peloton so well… and then crushed us with such incredible ease!

We stuck around for pizza and other snacks, and told tales of our rides, this weekend and previous, and made plans to go for several others. Rally season in North Texas is in full swing, and even while road racing draws down, you can bet that the strongest riders will be pushing themselves and each other to the limits in the 100k’s over the next several weeks and months!

Quick Kudos to my wife, who had her longest ride in about 8 months, 51 miles, and was also very strong. Smiling Amy was missed, and it looks like now she has returned! 🙂

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