On Saturday, I made the trip to St. Louis Park, MN to ride a 200km permanent route designed by Michele Brougher with 7 other intrepid biker souls. Because of the short, November days and a forecast which included really, really nasty winds, we agreed to a 7:00 am start. The thought was that we we would be able to finish the southerly portion of the ride before the 25mph south winds built to full strength.
Sounded great until I realized that I would need to leave BRF before 4:00 am. Pretty odd day. It was the first time I've ever left for a ride in the dark, got ready for the ride in the dark, and rode the first 10 miles in the dark. Anyway, things went well and Michele's route had an interesting mix of river valleys, prairie and upscale suburban neighborhoods. A highlight for me was the long, gradual climb out of the Minnesota River Valley.
The group of 8 riders stayed together all day and the conversation was free flowing and varied. This kind of ride is a nice refreshing change from the way most folks ride their regularly scheduled brevets. We all got to ride along and chat with people that we only acknowledge in passing the rest of the season.
All told, I logged 128.6 miles which put me over 4000km in RUSA sanctioned rides for the season which is considerably more than I had expected coming into the season. We'll see how long the weather holds before deciding when to put the bike away.