Nov 2014 30

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Back in October we hosted another (and probably our last for this year) group ride on the weekend of Masher’s birthday. A great ride always starts with a great group and we were honored to have Linn, Adam, Patrick, Oleg, Chris, Bena, Greg, Phil, John join Tim and me on this 55 mile road ride. The weather was also near perfect for the season, it was cool but not cold and the autumn colors on the landscape were amazing.

 

The route took us from downtown Georgetown to Versailles, the heart of thoroughbred country as we passed many horse farms. From there, we continued towards Frankfort entering bourbon country where we found an old abandoned distillery currently being renovated for reopening. We also found a couple tough climbs near Millville as we turned for home and headed back to Gtown through the historic railway town of Midway. This stretch definitely has some of the prettiest and most bike friendly roads in the area.

 

I promised the group I would give out two VIP bottles of Makers Mark bourbon (as a bribe to ride with us), but I incorporated a friendly segment challenge into the ride so that the gifts would be earned, rather than granted. My initial thought process for this style of challenge had me wanting to give all riders a fair chance, so I included 3 sprint zones and 2 climbs in the challenge. I also split the riders into 2 groups based on who had done more group rides with Renaissance Man and who had done more with me, Masher. I marked the segments on the pavement with “Ready, Set, Go, & Stop” in color coordinated arrows.

 

The first segment came about 7 miles into the ride and was about a quarter mile sprint on the flat section of Bethel Rd, to the church. The next was a climb segment on the infamous Clifton Rd. as it ascends from the Kentucky River valley. After the Clifton climb, we had a very pleasant brief SAG stop where my two older sons (and their girlfriends) met us with water, Coke, Ale-8, bananas, and snack bars. Just a few miles down the road was our second climb zone up Duncan Rd. to Frankfort. From there, we had two sprints remaining to try and earn the bourbon, and all riders still had a fighting chance. The next sprint came as we approached the Midway city line and it was blazing fast as the group battled it out and many set strava PRs. The last sprint was a slight downhill quarter mile run to our final county line sign as we re-entered Scott Co. No rider won every segment but the winners scored points in each one and had dominating performances on this day. A few cyclists (Gene, Rusty, Eric, Diane, Darin, Chuck, Schmidty, and Steph) couldn’t come due to injuries and/or┬áschedule conflicts, but they would have definitely strengthened the races. Nevertheless, the winners on this day were Linn from Tim’s group, and Adam from mine. They earned the bourbon outright with very strong performances!

 

Back at Masher’s house, we enjoyed each others’ company with sandwiches, chips, snacks, beverages and great post ride conversation. I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday present, and consider this a notice to all of our cycling friends: when we announce RAM Cycling groups rides next year, make it a priority on your schedule, ’cause you won’t regret it. Thanks to all my friends that joined us!

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