On July 25th, five couples plus our hosts, Roger & Eve, met for a 43-mile ride beginning and ending at the Newnan courthouse in downtown Newton, Georgia. Included in the group was a couple who’d recently moved to the Atlanta area from Arizona and who purchased their Cannondale RT3 about a month ago. This was their first PEACHES ride and while the temperatures were probably familiar, I’m not sure the humidity was. The rest of the group included familiar faces and long-time friends, which is par for the course with the monthly rides.
As an aside, it’s somewhat hard to believe that the PEACHES Yahoo Groups-based mailing list includes 257 subscribers, yet average turn-out for a group ride — regardless of where you host the ride — is never much more than ten (10) teams, and typically closer to six (6) or seven (7). We’ve heard over the years that many teams have shied-away from the PEACHES rides because the “usual suspects” ride off the front and leave slower riders behind. While that’s sometimes true, it’s also true that the faster riders typically stop, wait for other riders and regroup several times during a ride. It’s also worth noting that, if there was a larger turn-out there’s a pretty good chance that riders who prefer to cruise along at 13-15 mph would probably out-number the teams that will cruise along at 17+ mph and perhaps several other ‘price points’ in between, such that everyone would have someone else to ride with. Anyway, just thinking out loud….
Back on track…. The ride headed out south from Newnan meandered west for a while, then to the north before heading back due-east into Newnan. Did I mention that it was hot? If not, boy was it hot: capital H.O.T., hot. I’m guessing ambient was pretty close to 100F degrees with a heat index (i.e., compounding effect of humidity) of 105F. While most of the very low-traffic, rolling roads offered some shade while the sun was still sitting on the eastern part of its arch across the morning sky, by 11:00 am few if any trees seemed to be able to cast a shadow on the roads such that we spent quite a bit of the time during the last 1/2 of the ride getting cooked by the sun and heat coming off of the sun-baked roads. On the bright side, so long as we kept ourselves moving along at a pretty good clip, the apparent wind effect was pretty good. In fact, the worst thing we did during the ride was stopping… at the store or anywhere else for that matter. Once that cooling flow of air across your body was gone, it was sauna-city.
Now, despite the heat, the roads were really quite nice, the scenery was relaxing, and the friendship and camaraderie was exceptional, as always. I think that for the most part the folks on our ride rode either in groups of two (2) or three (3), as there just enough climbs over 5% grade to ‘split the herd’ as steeper hills often do. However, despite the weather-related challenges everyone survived and gathered at Fabiano’s on the square for a post-ride meal and social.
Bottom Line: Another great PEACHES ride! And, hey… we even stayed for lunch!