A very sad Calfee Tetra-Pro with custom (broken) wheels and a (damaged) rider
Saturday, April 3 - heat
Met up with RUCT at 8:00 AM for a 50 mile ride. Rode out the usual route (Woodhead -> Memorial -> Terry Hershey Park -> George Bush), but found that people were ready to head back just as we hit the 25 mile mark. While, technically, turning around at 25 miles is the right move for someone with the goal of 50, I couldn't pass up the chance to ride through the verdant trails of Bush park. With some regret, I left the rest of the RUCT crew behind & headed out through the park. Three miles off the far side, on Highland Knolls Dr., I stopped for a quick footlong sub at Subway before heading back home. By the time I got back, my legs were pretty shot - this was the hottest day of the year so far, at 85 degrees, and my allergies were starting to affect my breathing and vision. Beautiful day for a ride, though!
Distance: 78 miles
Avg. Speed: 16.5 MPH
Tuesday, April 6 - crashes
Everything went wrong today.
I couldn't finish work in time to make it to the RUCT meeting, so I grabbed my bike and headed straight over for the 6:00 PM DeathRide start at Memorial Park. On the way, I stopped to check on a crashed biker I found on the sidewalk. The fact that he was running a fancy frame, pure DuraAce components, and a powermeter made the wrecked bike heartbreaking (see picture above). Hopefully the guy will get those components back on the road soon. The rider, however, was also pretty beat up. He had a fair amount of missing skin, torn clothing, and the start of a wicked headache from whiplash. He said he'd been turning a corner at speed when a freak gust of wind from the incoming storm pushed his bike sideways into the curb. He highsided, and got thrown off. After that, his memory was a bit fuzzy. I stayed with him until a driver arrived to take him home.
Things didn't get better from there.
Within the first 3 miles of the DeathRide, another blast of wind caused a rider to wobble on a downhill stretch while we were all going 25-30 MPH. That wobbling rider just behind me caused the people next to him to veer to avoid getting hit, which multiplied into a massive crash that took out ~15 riders. A lot of bikes suffered minor to moderate damage, with riders sharing their fair share of bloody scrapes and bruises. Given that this happened after a blind hill in the road, it's a good thing nobody was seriously hurt. By the time the RUCT crew had reassembled and repaired bikes, the DeathRide - aptly named - was long gone. A few of us headed over to Memorial for 15 miles of laps, but the day was just about shot by that point.
The pollen count of 3400 pollen particles/cubic meter wasn't helping, either.
Definitely the most disappointing ride of the year.
Distance: 30 miles
Avg. Speed: irrelevant