Texas Canine Ambush   
 Ride Stats
Distance: 100.19 miles Altitude Gain: 4,864 ft Avg Speed: 19.27 mph
Route: Tour of Chataugua Avg Grade: 0 % Max Grade: 0 %
Max HR: 159 bpm Avg HR: 134 bpm Terrain: Road: Hills
Bike: Litespeed Vortex Road Club: Schuyler County Cycling Club
Weather Conditions: Sunny 70 F NW wind @ 10 mph
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 Tour of Chautauqua
Got up well before dawn this morning for a three hour drive to Westfield, NY for the Tour Of Chautauqua century. Was joined today by Joe and Doug. Joe was hesitant about entering century, as he didn't think he had the miles in to do it justice, but Doug assured him he wouldn't drop him, and he wouldn't have to ride alone. We have been doing the century since the eighties and the grand old lady has seen better years as there were less than fifty riders for all the different routes. Normally the route rotates through three different courses through the county from a rather flat eastern route along the shores of Lake Erie to a hilly roller coaster from Hell in the western section. This year was in the middle with just a couple of big climbs and a few smaller ones in the central section of the county. Weather was a bit on the windy side but overall not a bad day for a ride. Didn't see many fast type riders cruising around before the start so didn't see much chance of any pack riding. Ride started out fairly quickly with a short police escort out of town. Early pace was set by a guy with a classic steel frame with a five or six gear rear cassette and downtube shifters. He pulled a couple of miles and was replaced by a couple of heavyset riders that kept good pace on the flats. Doug and I were riding near the front and when the grade started to go up the heavier guys fell back and Doug cruised ahead. No one really responded as Doug opened a leisurely gap. I was happy to stay in a group until we hit the first climb at the fifteen mile mark. Joe soon went around the group and sprinted ahead to close the gap with Doug. One Hollyloft rider in the group started making snide comments about fast guys and knock yourself out. I decided that I would rather ride with Doug and Joe rather than the group that appeared to be ready to slow way down. Tried to cross the now large gap but had waited too long to sprint and figured I would probably be riding alone at least until the first climb. I was also having a problem with a complaining bladder and figured I would soon have to make a nature call break soon. I was soon passed by a group of three Hollyloft riders in a paceline pursuing my teammates. I just sat on the back and let them haul me along. We soon formed a group of six and cranked off the remaining miles to the base of the first climb in a fast paceline. As we approached the climb the cantankerous Hollyloft rider started telling everyone he wasn't going go into the red as he was sixty seven years old. Not sure why he thought we should wait for him. Guess he thought himself some sort of cycling royalty. I thought if he wants to ride slower he only needed to back off a bit, and he would be caught by a slower group. Doug didn't slow down when he started the first climb and soon opened a gap on the rest of us. The climb out of the lake basin up to the plateau was a couple of miles long but not terribly steep. I stayed at the front and maintained the gap about three quarters of the climb until a Hollyloft rider went by me and crossed the gap to Doug. I thought about trying to cross but my bladder insisted I maintain a steady pace. We made a left turn near the top of the climb and the Hollyloft climber stopped to wait for his teammates. I caught up with Doug, and we rode over the top of the climb and when we started to descend I stopped for a nature break. While I was occupied the third Hollyloft rider passed me and soon thereafter so did Joe. Once my task was completed I pursued Joe and caught him climbing out a a small gully. Doug and the third Hollyloft rider that Doug had coined as the Amazing Bulk were hammering off the front. The Amazing Bulk was well named as he was a powerhouse on wheels. Joe and I worked together at a maximum effort to close the gap. Over ten miles we never dropped below twenty five and were maxing around twenty nine over rolling terrain. We had almost closed on them when they were joined by a third rider that had left early and the three worked together to make our chase more difficult. We did catch them but after riding with them for a little while Joe was gapped on an upgrade, I dropped back to ride with Joe since we had told him we wouldn't drop him. Doug rode ahead with the Amazing Bulk. Told Joe to just ride at a comfortable pace as we were only three or four miles from the first rest stop. We regrouped at the rest stop and ate a bunch of magic newtons. The Hollyloft climber and the Old Buzzard soon rejoined us before we departed. We had a rolling twenty mile loop in the southern section of the county before returning to the rest stop. We rode a fast paceline for ten miles or so before the Old Buzzard was dropped. I was not displeased and justifiably so as Doug informed me that that Buzzard had called him a MFer at some point and not in a good way. The climber and the Amazing Bulk seemed like nice guys. We continued the paceline and the two Hollyloft riders dropped off one by one, I assume to recover their royalty. From then on it became a team time trial as we tried to stay ahead. We had to slow down to get Joe over the hills but had no problems getting back to the rest stop ahead of Hollyloft. After refreshments we returned to the course but were not rejoined by the other riders that remained at the rest stop. The final forty miles had a couple of good climbs, a smaller steeper section through Falconer and a longer shallow climb up through Dutch Hollow. I spun the climbs with Doug, and we waited until Joe crested then went back into our paceline. There was never any sign of pursuit. Ride was fairly pleasant until we hit a stiff headwind around mile ninety. We slowed down considerably in the wind and our average soon dropped from near twenty to finish at nineteen three. Turned out to be a pretty good ride though Joe felt like we had pulled him through a knothole. Felt good to hammer the flats with Joe and spin the climbs with Doug and to leave the miserable old Buzzard in the dust. Being old is no excuse for being uncivil.

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