The weather radar showed imminent rain, although there was a small break over Ithaca tonight. There must be something about this area, because every snowstorm that passes through here seems to split right over Ithaca too. I pedaled up to EHP, and was surprised to see so many people, considering that it was likely going to at least drizzle tonight. We rode up Ringwood as usual on this course, and the route was declared: Hurd and Snyder. Generally, I hate this route. I usually end up popping a chain from shifting at the wrong time, or dehydrate on this hill, or find some other way to lose it all on Hurd. We’ll see how it goes this time…
All was good on Midline and 79, and per usual the attacks were few and the pace was dull. The pack accordions on each incline, and after starting in the rear, I try to move my way up to not get stuck. I’m one of the front riders when we turn onto Hurd, and I start with a pretty good pace. A few try to pass me, but I know how this hill works for me. I go my pace, and anyone trying to go faster will likely just run out of steam soon. A handful of us are pulling ahead on the hill, and we loop back around to Midline. I didn’t ruin it all on Hurd for once!
Here’s my chance to finally pull the pace. I’m flying down Midline, pacelining with a few others, and every once in a while I go harder and string out the pack a tiny bit. Eventually, some people catch on that I want to bust off, and I didn’t even realize when it happened but a group of 5 break away. We rotate through the paceline, and by 79 the rest of the group has actually fallen back. How the heck did that happen?
We start up the long ascent of Snyder, rolling through the terrain with the pack still out of sight behind us. A few hills from the end, I figure it’s time to try to lose a few more if possible, and I blast off again to see what happens. Two others are still with me, but two seem to be content at their pace so now we’re just three. Second to last hill, and I’ve waned a bit and realizing it. I’m nearly out of energy, but figure that if I don’t try anything now, I won’t get it front, so I kick up my pace up the last hill. Unfortunately, the other guy still had some energy left and noticed me sneaking up. He powers up the last bit of hill to win it, and I roll past shortly after for second.
There’s a few drops starting to fall on the ride back to EHP. I got to the office just as the rain started coming down, and then it’s really pouring. I waited for an hour or so, planning on catching the last bus out of town to get home. Somehow I was looking at the wrong time and missed the bus, so I had a very soggy ride home. At least I had the commuter bike with fenders, but I hadn’t brought a real rain jacket.