I am back on schedule with early AM rides, both on weekends and on weekdays. I got out a bit late on Tuesday morning after getting to sleep late the night before. I managed to get myself out of the door by 5:30 or maybe a few minutes later. I had lights on for safety and headed down Massachusetts Avenue towards Lexington. I was passed by a reasonably fast group and I hung just off their wheels until Lexington center, when I figured I had enough of trying to keep up on my sleepy legs. I passed RSC and saw the RSC fast ride forming - there were three people already. At that point, the last rider on the ride I was nearest to asked if I wanted to join them. He described the route going to Bedford and coming back by Page and Grove, a route I was interested in checking out, so I joined them.
We headed up Mass Ave over Route 128. The hill on Mass Ave is substantial and I managed to hang on. I followed the group over towards Lincoln Lab and lost them but knew that one of them was still behind me. I saw him as I saw the last of the group head over the to the bike path. These were strong riders. I managed to keep up and then had a short rest after one of the riders suffered a blow out. Getting it fixed was a cooperative venture with this group. The group, it turns out, is the Winchester Rippers, named for a hill at the end of the ride which was guaranteed to be quite hard. I haven't found out for myself yet.
The fast group passed us while we were stopped for the flat and once we got going, we went quickly. There was a long uphill section, a mile I was told, which, while not steep, was a challenge, followed by a downhill stretched punctuated by a section undergoing a full depth reconstruction. I was happy to have my 700x25 tires and maybe would have appreciated something wider if the construction went on longer. We passed over 128 and then regrouped at the rotary at Hancock and Burlington. The rest of the ride is a blur, except that one kind rider (they were all pretty nice) cut off the biggest hill at the end and rode with me to a corner of Winchester I recognized and could get myself home from. While I was keenly aware of the time, I managed to get home, and do exercises (pull ups, sit ups, push ups, and weights) before anyone was out of bed. That doesn't mean that I wasn't late.
The ride was 22 miles, which I finished at 16.2 mph.
Postscript ... I stopped at RSC on my ride the next day and Roger, who was a great part of the Highpoint team and, unfortunately, still calls me Trouble after I briefly went off route on that ride, told me he was part of the Winchester Rippers, which he called a very large group of riders who ride everyday. They were quite a nice group and very welcoming.
That next ride was 53 miles.
Total miles for August: 170 miles, total miles for the year: 1850 miles.