Stung! The Tuesday Night Hustle Rides Again
July 22, 2015 § Leave a comment
Sometimes it is amazing what you can get when you cry Waa Waa like a baby and call out to your friends “Why won’t you come out and play with meeeeee?” Tonight was the first Tuesday Night Hustle after last weeks rant, and I was both surprised and relieved to see a larger turnout. In addition to Doug and myself, we started out with Maxipad and Jack who rode in with Dougie. Tony managed to make it out tonight and in spite of his already ridden that morning! We got Grant back out again, but he was recovering from an infection for which antibiotics were prescribed. Finally we had a new person show up who had just heard about the ride. Mike from Atlantic Highlands. I had never seen him before, but he was riding a nice bike. I did point out we would warm-up out to Sea Bright and then turn the gas on.
At least that was the plan. I could already tell on the ride over that the winds would be out of the South out at Sea Bright, so once I verified Derrick wouldn’t be joining us, I led us out. In the past I have tended to lead all the way into Rumson, up River Road, down River Road, around RIver Road until we get to Ridge. This week I decided not to do that :P! However, Doug took over for me and upped the pace from warm-up to complete sweat down pace, and by the time we got out to Holy Cross, I think we dropped Mike already.
I was leading us out when we reached the turn onto Ward and as I came around the corner a bee flew right into my temple and stung me instantly. Bam Sting! There was no time to swat it away. An inch from my right eyeball and just beneath the temples of my riding glasses. I squeezed the area but it still felt like the stinger was there. Nothing to do but to ride on. As far as I know I have been stung many times before without effect, so why would this time be different. I would start out in the back on Ocean Ave and move up unless I started to feel anything besides the pain that I was going to feel in my legs.
For some reason there seemed to be an inordinate amount of traffic on the bridge into Sea Bright with a fair amount of it turning North, the same direction as us. It disrupted our start, but we settled down into a pace line quickly, and started the ramp up. I don’t recall who started it, but the pace just kept picking up. I know Dougie took a pull and you could hear the gears dropping down as we all tried to find a cadence that worked for each of us. After Dougie it was Tony, and then Maxipad. I took over from Bobby M and by the time I pulled off just prior to Sandy Hook we had dropped Bob and Jack so it was down to 4 of us. The pulls went like this, Doug kicked our asses, Tony and Grant were more reasonable, and I feel like I was somewhere in between. I was in a GIANT gear, and just kept mashing it, and when I pulled off it was just three of us. Tony was a savior as his pulls allowed me to catch my breath until Doug took over again, and soon it was the same chapter I have read over and over again. I took my pull and while dropping back I pulled in behind Tony and noticed quickly that my 3 inch gap became 4, then 5, then 10, then a yard, and then my legs exploded, or maybe imploded and then I watched the two of them ride away.
The three of us re-grouped on Atlantic and pace lined it again out to the end of the hook. We established that all those that made it out first would sweep up the others as they took a short cut across Ft Hancock. Problem was we got pretty far ahead, and we only seemed to sweep up Bobby. Grant caught us from the back, but we never saw Jack again. Meanwhile in the heat, all I could feel besides my lactic legs was a little pounding in the side of my head that was probably just my pulse, but felt like it was that little stinger still pumping poison into my head. As I finish writing this I don’t feel it at all, so perhaps I should check a mirror just to make sure the right side of my face isn’t the size of a watermelon before leaving for work. All seems well.
Together we pace lined off the hook, taking our turns as usual, keeping it together until around halfway off when the pace picked up again (who knew that would happen?). We were eating the wind this time and though we did drop Bobby, Grant stayed with us and that gave three people for me to sit(HIDE) behind and recover before it was my turn to dish out the pain.
At the end Bobby and Doug chose to wait for Jack, and that left Grant, Tony and myself to wander back to Fair Haven. We(I) chose the hilly route back and we had some nice efforts on the return. When Grant gets his legs back he will be there on all those efforts.
Next week is VIP week at Ft Dix, and I may not be able to get out early again to make the ride, but at least the call is out and riders know that this is a ride to race and a race to ride and participation is key to the fun. Let’s hope the word spreads and we get a few more wheels in there to recover(hide) behind before its our turn again.