Feb 14, 2011

Great Weekend!

This past weekend encapsulated all that is great about Bloomington: lovely spring weather, fantastic routes, a huge active bike community, some fun bars and of course, lots of pretty girls.
GP and the Teter girls (photo- Miles Johnson)
Over 50 riders showed up at the Samples Gates for the Devils Backbone ride which I will take a testament to my ideals of inclusivity. There were boys and girls, Little 5ers and grizzled veterans, Pros and rookies! Thanks to teams Teter, Cutters, Gray Goat and PDT who can out en masse- it was a fantastic site to look back and see a 25 person double line snaking out of town. We were blessed with the best weather day in months, relatively light traffic and weirdly no flats for the entire ride! The stars were clearly aligned! The ride proceeded pretty steadily but at a good pace that just required a little pushing for a few on the causeway hill. A long and ultimately foolish leadout to the Lawrence County sign by Sherer and Cox meant at least I won one thing on the day. At Flashers/Heltonville a group of maybe 15 turned for home whilst others proceeded to roads less travelled. A couple of hills and slightly higher pace put a few of us in trouble but we were mostly together as we received the Devil Backbone history lesson from Tom Cox! It was on the next series of rollers toward Leesville where the wheels started to come off. I had the beginnings of cramp but it was Aaron Knapp, on his longest ride in years, who had a full-scale blow up as he tried and failed to get out of the saddle! Kaboom!
Y'know i could call my bro....
A refueling at Leesville was a bonanza for the local store and the pace was a little more subdued for a few miles out of town. On arrival back to sr446 the large group stopped for a brief bathroom break whilst a trailing group of Knapp, Cox, Sherer, Chartier et al kept rolling through to keep Aarons legs moving. However this precipitated a chase from those that stopped where all but two of us made the group. I was burning matches rapidly in the effort but came nowhere near the group, which was a little disappointing. To get dropped is an accepted part of riding but not being in the group to have the chance to get dropped is another entirely. However it was not a surprising turn of events and apparently the ‘top guys’ on this social ride were Rose, West, Rodkey…..
At the less sharp end of things I failed to lift myself out of the saddle and had a nice 5minute sit at the side of the road as my cramps subsided! Eventually we got rolling and the three invalids, Knapp, Hess and I were kindly paced home by Palmer, Pilling, Chartier, Cox and Sherer. All in all a great ride and special credit to CvK and Mindi who rode with the boys all day. This was clearly hunger-inducing work for CvK who took advantage of the free breadsticks on offer at College Mall!
An early healthier refuelling option
A quick wash and nap before the important part of the day where it was great to see so many bikers out enjoying themselves at Nicks. Thanks (I think) to Drummy for taking photos and congrats to him for stealing answers from the scientists to win the GP-quiz! Thanks to all who came out to make it a great night!
The PRO table
The weather was even better on Sunday and I was pleased to be A, alive and B, be able to help out with the IUCC Womens training race. I doubt anywhere in the world has such a healthy female riding population and there were at least 20riders who came out to compete on two mini-races on 446. After some aggressive racing CvK and Lauren from Teter were 1st and 2nd in the fast downhill sprint (after an awesome leadout ;) while Mindi won the second race to the top of the causeway. Teter were of course riding strongly, as were the Theta rookies, Amy and Kristin have done a great job motivating them into shape! Overall a great sign for IUCC, now Sinead Miller and Kaitlin Antonneau await….
Thanks to all who participated in the weekend, it truly was a great time and made me even sadder to be leaving town!


TD said...

That was an awesome sight & ride GP to see all those peeps out Saturday morning to see you off! Bloomington cycling will miss you greatly!

Best wishes for your future in Liverpool.


adamrodkey said...

Although I was NOT on the front when you were dropped, I apologize all the same; it's very difficult to know what's going in the back of a paceline that's 1/2mile long.

Brian Drummy said...


Back in 2008 when I moved back to Bloomington I remember asking Ewing “who is this Gar-rant guy?” Although I don’t remember the first time we hung out together, I am sure that it was either immediately before, during, or immediately after some Little 5 event! From that point forward, we sure have spent a lot of time together.

What you have brought to the Bloomington cycling community will be impossible to replace. You truly love all things cycling. Your reporting, opining, blogging, (and gossiping on occasion) added a unique dynamic to an already great cycling community. Your racing and announcing brought you into contact with all disciplines of cycling – which made for good reading and thorough reporting.

As for Little 5, it is easy that the race as touched many. However, it is not often that I person with no connection to the race as an undergrad has so much of an understanding, respect, appreciation, and love for the race. It is hard to believe that you won’t be at Bill Armstrong Stadium come April.

Your friendship and appreciation for cycling will be missed by many. It is not often that I get to speak for the Bloomington Bike Community – but we all wish you the very best in Liverpool. Be sure to send us the link to Liverpool Cycling News once you get it up and running!


Geraint Parry said...

Not to continue this bro-fest but the first time I met you was during a series event in which you were creeping on the race director in the pressbox.

And I'm sure the Bloomington bike community is wondering why an occasional runner is speaking for them, but thanks all the same.