Mongo had a rare Saturday off in which to do some riding. Whenever this occurs, I like to go and test my skillz at one of the nearby Enemy Bike Shop rides. The one I like the best, and the one that is the most challenging for Mongo, is ultra-douchey and mostly populated by Doctors, Lawyers, Titanium frames, Zipp wheels, and snarkiness. But what the hell? It's 40-55 miles of hammering and a good test of one's mettle.
I went to the website to double check the start time. It "clearly stated" that the ride would switch from 9:00 am to 10:00 am in October...so being a semi-intelligent bloke, I went with it, being that this was the second Saturday in October.
When I rolled into the parking lot around 9:45, everything looked normal. People unloading and getting ready, cliques of like-jersey'd riders gathering together...the usual. I counted between 40-50 riders, and figured I'd be in for a long day, but I knew I could tuck in somewhere and I'd be alright. That's when I ran into a fellow Smyrna Bicycles team member...Dipesh "Mode".
We were catching up and chatting when the peloton started rolling out. Something just didn't feel right. Though we were surrounded by Madones, Assos, Sidis, and smugness, I noticed that there didn't seem to be very many people under the age of 35. Normally, this ride is populated with some young Cat 2's and 3's along with the usual, older, Cat 4 pack-fill.
When we started to take some turns that I wasn't familiar with, I knew something was up. In my most non-"I'm a dork and I don't know what's going on" way, I asked someone where we were going. As he looked down on me through his Oakley Flackjackets, while wearing his Mellow Johnny's kit, riding his Madone (Seriously!), I was informed that this was the "Buckhead" ride, and that the "Six Flags" ride that I was supposed to be on had left at nine. Instead of arguing with him over what was on the website, I vowed to myself that no matter whatever else happened, I was going to drop this asshole...and I did.
Though not usually comfortable with sudden change, Mongo settled in and enjoyed the ride. Dipesh "Mode" and I were up front all day, and the peloton fractured and split several times over the length of a modified 35 mile course that included more climbing than the 23/2300 Hammerfest.
It came down to about twelve of us at the end...with Mongo and DM breaking away on the final climb and finishing 1-2 at the line with a ten second gap on the peloton. It was a great day all the way around.