I rode the Rapid Wheelmen's Colorburst Tour last weekend. This was the first time I had been able to ride the event since 2010 - which was the same year I had gotten the road bike. It quickly turned into my favorite event because that year happened to be super awesome weather and the fall colors were amazing. Also, aside from the Tour of the White Pine Trail, this was my first major "event", so quite the experience all-around. Because of schedules, every year since then, I have missed it, so I was glad to be able to make it this year.
I believe that was also the same year I joined the RW. I had talked with Jeff Festian there, whom I hadn't seen in since the old days of visiting my "girlfriend" (now wife) at GVSU. They all had lived in the same building and we had become friends.
Anyways, I digress. Saturday's event started pretty brisk and cold (high 40's), and the forecast included some light wind and full sun. The weather did not disappoint. This was my first major ride since mid-August's Night Shift. Between then and now there was only one commute and some other small, random rides.
I planned to ride the 67 mile gravel route with George from Night Shift. After mixing it up with some other cycling friends at Fallasburg Park, we met up, had some pancakes and rolled out. George lives in the area and had pre-ridden the course just a few weeks prior - so it was nice, I just took his lead. He knew all the roads and turns, I never had to access my map.
It turned out to be a great day for a ride. I was getting gassed about the 40 mile mark or so - near the second SAG stop along the route. There we met up with Johnny K, who I typically see once a year at Iceman. He was out there by himself, so he hitched on and the three of us rode together to the end.
Near the 50 mile mark or so, there are some very large and steep hills on Ashley headed south, and I had to walk up a few of those. It was actually okay though, as it did help stretch out my body and give me some time to recover - but boy, I was pretty whipped. Weak legs and I had that solid, pushing pressure right between my shoulder blades.
It was a good day though. Riding with some friends. Good weather, nice to exhaust myself. As life becomes more stressful, I need those outlets in exercise. I don't set aside enough time for myself anymore - and it was nice to get out on some good ol' dirt back roads to do some sightseeing.