The Fall Folly 100

That’s a stupid name, but it was all we could think of for the 115 mile ride we did this morning to Jefferson, Texas and back.

One of my riding buddies sent out an e-mail this week advertising it. I hoped we’d get a good response. At the shop Thursday, I actually said “I’m looking forward to it, as long as its more than just our normal four rider group.” Well, guess how  many it was?

That, and the sub-50 temps at the start had me pushing for a detour that would have cut it to about 60 miles. We’d already told the whole S’port cycling community we were doing 100, though, so the need to save face when asked how the ride went led us onward.

Glad it did, too. Overall a nice ride: Low traffic, gorgeous weather, good conversation, challenging-but-not-exhausting pace. The roads were so-so. In Louisiana, they were great. Caddo Parish in general has excellent road surfaces. Texas, not so much. Bumpy, rattly, and uneven; I think Texans consider the central planning needed for good roads too much like communism or something. Still, that was the middle 50 miles, so we left it before our butts got too sore.

Perhaps the best part was my idea, at about mile 50, to make everyone take three mile pulls up front before fading to the draft at the back of the line. In a big group, you can hide in the back and let the other riders do all the work. With only four people in the group, it becomes very important for everyone to do their share. My rule accomplished that. I calculated it, and if we all kept to the three mile rule, that meant we’d all have to pull about five times for the rest of the ride. (4 riders times 3 miles equals 12 miles per rotation. 12 miles into the 60 miles left equaled 5 rotations). We did it, and it made for a nice return. Everyone pulled their share – no one wanting to hear something like “that was a short three miles” from everyone else – and we all stayed relatively fresh.

Of course, evenly distributing the work was only the stated reason. The real reason was to see who would crack first when forced to take such routinely long pulls. Thankfully, it wasn’t me. And we didn’t make fun of the guys who did too much as we took their pulls.

Anyway, here’s the route. (The map starts downtown; we started at the Uptown Shopping Center at Line and Peirmont).

View Interactive Map on MapMyRide.com

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