Finally made it to and through my first organized ride of the year. I spoke with a woman at the lunch table after the ride who said this was her tenth ride of the year. This was her first time at the Gator Ride. She was pleased. Last week she rode in the rain at the Humble Lion’s Club ride. I told her the rain was why I did not ride there.
The Gator Ride was organized well. This year the start of the 62 mile riders was done in groups. I suspect the reason was to spread out the riders at the Lynchburg ferry. In times past the parking lot near the ferry was over filled with riders. This year that was not the case.
While the weather man predicted temperatures in the low 40’s at the start time the actual was 53. I was glad. Temperature was not an issue as I selected the right number of layers and type of clothing evening for speeding down the George Hartman bridge at 35 mph. Wind was another story though. At the finish the wind speed was 13 mph with gusts to 16 mph but it was brutal at times. One rider told me the wind was kicking his rear end.
It seems I must have a mechanical issue each year at this ride. This year was no exception. I had installed a new chain last weekend and I test rode it without any problems but today the removable master link decided to stiffen up and cause a lurching motion each time it went through the rear derailleur jocky pullies. I messed with it at each rest stop but did not solve the problem until the 53 mile rest stop when the mechanic squirted some oil on the link and twisted it a little to loosen it up. From then on it was smooth pedaling. You do not realize what a smooth pedal turn means.
At the finish area food was served and even though it was not low fat the taste was worth the ride. As usual, the T-shirt graphics are superb. My wife likes the Gator.
Some pictures at the start area.