I got up early this morning hoping to improve upon my lack luster monthly training goals for February and March. April will be different! I met four other riders, Dave, Greg, John, and Michael at Epic Bikes on Jonesboro Road at 7AM. The plan was for a 36-40 mile drop ride at 20+ mph. The temperature was cooler than I had expected. It was 43 degrees when we started which is a bit under my normal comfort level. Shortly after leaving the store we picked up a sixth rider, Chris and continued south toward Griffin.
Our route took us south though Hampton, passed the Sun City Peachtree community and across 19/41 on Birdie Road. We made a big loop on some back roads going up Steele Road and back down Patterson Road onto Birdie Road again. From Birdie Road we went north on Moore Road to Wildwood Road to Lower Woolsey Road toward the Atlanta Motor Speedway. On Woolsey Road we went through Hampton on Main Street. Then we took GA-81 to Mt Carmel Road and finally Mill Road back to Epic Bikes.
Our big loop north of Griffin included three trips down dead end roads, twice having to ride through a mass of loose dogs. Some of the homeowners had five dogs. At one point there were eight dogs in the street waiting for our inevitable turn-around, not including the dogs in the yards. We all made it through unscathed.
During the ride we saw two guys on tri bikes, eight riders from the Trek shop on GA-20, one lone ride, and two female riders. We all must have been taking advantage of the weather which had warmed up nicely by then.
Ultimately, we rode 55.15 miles at a 18.1 mph pace. Our pace was slower than I had expected but fine for my mediocre ability. We were slowed partly due to two mechanical problems. One bike had a pedal that was very loose but it didn't seem to slow Dave down. He's a big guy so I'm glad he stuck around for me to draft behind. John got a bent chain and had to nurse his bike about 8 miles back to the shop. We had no flats though!
Thanks guys for the letting me tag along.