Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Cycling Day to be Thankful!

I am still in amazement over the great weather we've been having in Connecticut this month. It's late November, we've enjoyed lots of riding days!

Niantic Bay Bicycles hosted a 40 mile ride from their shop on Thanksgiving morning. Since we were eating dinner at Dave's parents' home, and dinner time wasn't until mid-afternoon, we woke up extra early and bundled up for the 8 a.m. ride.

David wears his vintage wool jersey for
the 40 degree temps!

Even with glorious sunshine, the temperature was still a bit cold at that time of the morning. David looked sharp in his vintage Molteni wool jersey; I actually wore 6 layers on top! This group was comprised of approximately 20 riders of varying abilities. We took off with the pack up front, since our average speed has been considerably faster in our most recent group rides. We were the only tandem riders. Within the first couple of miles, a few people off the back fell out of sight. We were glad to find ourselves still with the pack.

The ride was enjoyable and the scenery was exceptional, mostly rolling hills on tree lined roads. We crossed a bridge alongside a hi-way which brought us into a waterfront town. The view was stunning with glints of sunshine playing off the ocean. (This is one of the pluses to being a stoker! I'm able to soak in the incredible views and take photos, while David keeps his eye on the roads.)

After turning off a stretch of road with amazing views, the route brought us through a residential area with many turns. It was around the 23-mile point or so, and with a headwind, we started to fall behind. A couple of other riders were off the back too. We caught up once or twice, but then with so many turns, we lost our way.

As we rode on, we passed another cyclist riding alone. Initially, we weren't sure if he was from our group, but in fact, he was! At 15-years-old, he was riding without clip-in pedals, and we learned that while he had done some off-road riding with the bicycle shop, this was his first group ride on the road. Dave took him under his wing and led the way back over the bridge by the hi-way and then back to the shop. (I'm grateful that Dave knows Connecticut roads pretty well, because if it were me out there on my own, I'd have been lost for sure!)

Eventually, we arrived back. It still came out to be just over 40 miles, and the rest of the leading group somehow arrived back just about 5 minutes after us.

David chatted for a while with fellow cyclists, while I peeled off layers, enjoying the warmth of the sunshine streaming in through the windows of our mini-van.

We drove home, and I gathered up a side dish and desserts we were contributing to Thanksgiving dinner at Dave's Mom and Dad's house. It was a wonderful way to spend the holiday, enjoying the company of family!

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