Today was a great turnout, given that it is the middle of winter. We had seven teammates join the group ride today, two of which was for the first time (welcome Nora and Vince).
We started by heading North until we hit the first climb of the day: Headquarters. Clay started at a blistering pace and Vince was the only one that held his wheel. Clay and Vince traded blows to the top, but Vince had the legs to take Clay at the top by 4 seconds. Zach and Jeremy also head to head, with Zach eventually pulling away from Jeremy about halfway up and holding a 7 second lead by the end of the climb (Jeremy tried blaming his heavy bar bag).
After the climb we rolled into Castle Rock to refuel at one of the local bakeries for doughnuts and coffee. The rest of the ride was taken easy with some small attacks going off here and there, but we all made it back to the Wilco parking lot safe at the end of the ride.
Mileage Winner: Jeff - 72.01
Today was supposed to be an "endurance" ride. It seems like every time we say endurance ride it turns into a race between me and Clay. While there was a healthy dose of surging up hills and in the flats, overall, most of the day was kept at endurance pace. Group for today were Clay, Zach, Jeremy, Nick M., Tina, Jeff, and Chris.
The group started at the Wilco in Kelso and made we our way north towards Toledo. We decided to add some elevation by heading up the first third of Headquarters, took a detour on Starflower dr., and finally ended up at the top of headquarters. From there we descended back into Castle Rock and kept the pace nice and easy into Toledo. Clay had some bad luck today and ended up getting a flat when we turned onto Military Rd. Due to a bent stem it took us about 45 minutes and help from some of the locals to get him back on the road. From Vader to Castle Rock the group practiced single and double pacelines. The drills started out a little rough but the group was eventually rotating like a well-oiled machine, and we made it back to Castle Rock in record time!
Once in Castle Rock we stopped at our favorite drive through coffee shop and refueled. Without the coffee and pastries, I don't think I would have made it through the rest of the ride. After refueling we rolled back into Longview and most of the group split off to head home. A few of us decided we wanted to hit the first century of the year, so we kept the party going back to Kalama. This was my first century ever and I was very happy with how I felt at the end (although I did end up bonking hard in the last four miles). Jeremy, Zach, and Clay ended with over 100 miles, while Tina was an honorable mention at 91.6!
Mileage Winner: Jeremy (105.05 miles)
Starting from the Wilco in Kelso, WA five Cowlitz Racing Team members decided to brave the weather and go for a ride. We (Nick M., Jeremy, Zach, Clay, and Pawel) rode North toward Toledo over rolling hills. Nick ended up leaving us at the end of Barnes dr., great riding with you Nick.
Once we were in Toledo the group started working on single and double paceline drills. There were some moments where we were moving very smoothly and others where the group seemed uncoordinated. All in all, it was fun to work on some race techniques with the team.
We ended up stopping in Castle Rock and one of our favorite drive through coffee shops for some much needed fuel (caffeine). After fueling up we took it easy back to Kelso. Clay ended up having a catastrophic failure on one of his pedals and had to pedal home using just one pedal. Jeremy made it back to Kelso but ended up getting a flat before he got home!
It was fun getting out and riding with everyone. Looking forward to a great year and lots of group rides.
Mileage winner: Jeremy (68.88 miles)