It was just a bit chillier than a typical Spring morning as seven of us gathered together at Karen's Bakery for the Millertown Road ride. The group was made up of a few regulars, a few riders that join us on occasion, and a few new riders. We agreed to hold a bit easier pace up Folsom-Auburn Rd. to Auburn, but that road seems to challenge you at any pace.
About half way up Folsom-Auburn, we got word that one of our regular female riders, Lisa Haas, was trying to catch up to us from her home in Roseville. Normally, we wouldn't hold back and wait for a rider that wasn't there for the start, but Lisa's been a great asset to the Group so we agreed to extend our break at the top of Folsom-Auburn. Just as we were getting a bit antsy to get rollin', Lisa came whizzin' by and yelled, "Whada ya' stoppin for! There's no stopping!" (As an aside Lisa Haas and Ron Vanhuuksloot just complete a 375 mile ride in Puerto Rico that looks like an incredible journey. See Ron's blog for photos and detials. Next week, they'll both be riding in the Camino Real Double Century.)
Overall, there was a slight disparity between riders, but the stronger riders exercised some friendly patience at times while also placing the bar just high enough to push the pace, but not make it unreasonable. Overall, the Group held true to our goal of working to improve our fitness while inspiring those who may need it. We regrouped at the tops of most of the climbs, including Indian Hill where the skies were so clear we could see all the way to the old Rancho Seco Nuclear Power Plant (roughly 45 miles away, as the crow flies).
The pace was extremely brisk down Folsom-Auburn. Unfortunately, a poorly-timed red light split the group into two groups of 4 riders. In the end everyone made it back to Karen's Bakery with smiles on their faces. Three of us added an optional loop around Lake Natoma for some additional miles.
MapMyRide.com. There, you can see the stats for this and other rides. The Leaderboard feature also allows you to compare your mileage and workouts against others who are participating. It can be a great motivator to get you in your saddle so you don't get left behind on weekends.