Monday, August 2, 2010

It Hurts So Good


Source: letterlust

What a difference an hour makes. My weekend rides typically begin at 6am - I roll out of Roscoe Village Bikes with a few friends and we make our way north. However, Saturday we gifted ourselves an extra hour of shuteye and it changed the whole day.

What I had expected to be three of us riding tempo instantaneously became six, when three more guys where lingering out side the shop. Austin on his CX bike, Alex, back on the bike after a nasty crash, and Hemme, with some "Don't worry, I raced, put in an extra 50 miles, and drank a lot of beer yesterday" story about how he promised not to crush us.

15 minutes later the growing group trend continued when we saw two Half Acre kits up the road. Hemme turned the screws and we made the catch to discover Zach and Sean. Zach and I have been talking about trying to ride together all year - and as luck would have it, there we were, on the same ride. This extra hour was already having a dramatic effect on my ride.

But hey, why stop at eight guys. At a red light in Evanston the Judson ride came by and we saw a few familiar face. Lew, from Rhythm Racing calls me out, and Alex seems to know half the guys so we catch onto the back of Judson when the light turns. Like Zach, Lew and I have been trying to find a way to ride together, but my early schedule doesn't jive with Lew's late schedule. The day was shaping up to be good, real good.

Of course, this was supposed to be a tempo day with a couple of friends. Now I was in the tail end of one of Chicago's fastest group rides. 10 minutes later me and 70 guys are ripping along, at one point I look down and were doing 35mph. BTW, after an 18 month hiatus I've got a computer on my bike.

A few miles past Highland Park the fractured remains of our original eight peel off for some hill work around Fort Sheridan. Ouch.

At this point everyone is feeling a little beat up so Hemme settles in up front and pulls us south at a steady 23/24mph. I'm freaked by two things about this little fact. First, Hemme is without a computer but keeps the speed super consistent, second, this is supposed to be his easy pace...

Enter the scooter. On Sheridan Road, just south of Tower we open it up a little more, 26, 27, then over our left shoulder we hear the droning buzz of a scooter. Hemme doesn't think twice and calmly pulls in behind the driver. I've motor paced a Jeep and a landscaping trailer with mixed results this year in the same place, but this time the driver was cool with us. Game on.

We hit 30 and Hemme is trying to get the guy to go faster but no dice, so I jump off and give it my all to escape. I pull by and maintain for about 30 seconds until my legs start to fade and the train comes by me. I burn one more match to catch back on and we go for a while longer before the scooter pulls off the road. Hot damn! That was fun.

Somewhere near Devon Hemme declares his intentions to finish his ride at bake. It's important to know Mike Hemme takes food seriously, and when he starts talking about how it was started by someone from the Ritz and it's been a long time since he tasted a better use of butter I was happy to give it a try. After digging into a heirloom tomato tart, a savory scone with sweet jam and some of Hemme's super crazy delicous muffin with cream and fruit I was sold. If you're cruising around Wicker Park and need a treat - stop by bake.

Had I rolled out for my normal 6am ride my day would have been so different...

1 comment:

lwayz said...

Glad to see you out there bro! More good times to come, starting in 6 or so weeks. I don't know about you, but I'm tired of all this drafting bs. Ask me about it the next time ur round.