Eighteen riders showed up to form the peloton for the first Tour de Red bike crawl. The turn out was fantastic for a ride that promised to be lots of up and down and no car drop at the end. Way to go guys.
The evening was hot and a bit muggy, as we lined up for the start of the crawl. Sitting on the cool lawn was the favourite warm up routine. Talk of skipping right to the cold ones filled the air. But, true to form the Holy Wow Gang answered the starters pistol and the ride was on.
The peloton stretched out as it meandered along Mo's and worked it's way onto Larry's. The yellow jersey was somewhere in the middle of the pack and using his domestiques to keep him cool. There was a small breakaway on Miner's but they decided to wait for the peloton because they did not know which way to go.
After a regroup, we headed up the gas line and on to the gas metering station where the route turned downward for a little scoot. This took us back to Larry's and the speeds picked up and some air was taken. Many of the riders had not ridden Larry's in this manner before and others waxed nostalgically of the old days, when we rode Larry's a lot (still learning to ride) on hard tails and rigid bikes.
Up the back road to Red and onto Oflanagan's Connector to the Centennial Trail and the Rock Cut. The peloton was quite content to just enjoy the country side. The yellow jersey got a little antsy and dropped off the highway into some gravel and did a bit of a swan dive into the bush, but true to the Tour etiquette we did not take advantage of a riders misfortune, so we waited for him to get back up and continue.
On to the deserted subdivision and through to the Coffee Run, spirits were high in anticipation of the time trial that this part of the route would provide. Coffee Run is another Old School ride that is technically quite challenging. The first part is quite over grown and then it settles into some entertaining roots, rocks, and some testy little ups and downs. Got to keep your speed up or endos are a real possibility. We had one rider go down and rearrange his face a little. He looks better now. The peloton waited for him to catch up.
The stage coming up was new to all the riders. We were going to ride up Milky Way to the landing below the saddle. Actually not a bad ride, we'll have to do it again some time. Up to the saddle of KC. The peloton is beginning to bunch up in preparation for the sprint to the beer-I mean finish.
Arriving at the summit, the king of the mountains got confused and climbed to the top of KC even though that was not a part of the route. What a climbing machine? We did not wait for him. Somehow we knew he would find his way to the refreshments-I mean finish.
Seats down and away we go for the last descent including a hard left turn at the bottom part of Snake. Riders took the Mobis strip, the Teeter Tauter, and the final jump as we rolled on to the Centennial Trail and headed to the finish line.
There were Green, Blue and Red and White jerseys -I mean- cans of recovery fluid for everyone. The Tour was complete. A resounding success. Where is that yellow jersey?