Cindy and I rode over to Kawa to meet Craig and Kate. Cindy was a trooper after a massive day yesterday that left her feeling like a puddle of jelly. Dustin Andrews showed up (provincial road champ) and a fellow named Rene who just moved here and was looking for people to ride with. Off we went for some adventure south.
Cindy and Dustin both were out for shorter rides, so pulled off earlier. Rene is a long time racer, but has been skiing more this winter until finding this winter riding group. He's strong, but without miles in the legs, pulled off a few hours in. He anticipated a different pace with a "girl" on the ride, but we've seen this story unfold before with people who haven't ridden with Kate before. Kate displays no ego or bravado. She doesn't need to!
She has this sticker on her down tube, which means she's got a gene for slaying winter rides:
And if you examine her layering enough, there's often an Alberta Provincial Champion jersey in there somewhere (two disciplines at that).
After separating, we did one climb with just the three of us, where Craig "Stappler'd" the first climb, then we raced the second one in a sprint. Just on the scenic descent we bumped into Dwayne Ellis who was logging some ninja all black, all basic outfit miles. We elected skipping Priddis in favour of Plummers Road then the 762 into Bragg. Let's just way the 4 of us held a very respectable pace into Bragg, and I did my best to Stappler the last couple of climbs... the Juan Valdez and still eating mostly Popeye powerfoods must be helping as I feel better this weekend. I also installed this on my handle bar such that it's way easier to turn down when appropriate:
It only adds like 5g to my bike, but it's effect goes beyond that.
We had a great lunch in Bragg Creek, but I found out the split pea soup there isn't as "fast" as the roasted red pepper soup in Cochrane. We covered important topics like bikes, bike racers, bike friends, and how what "this is" in English (bread crust). I suffered on the way back as we took turns into the wind, Kate and Craig crushed. We elected to drop into all the Valley Ridge singletrack for a bonus at the end of the day, and with just the three of us it was over in a flash. Craig and I both rode the icy little log over the small ravine too... nice bonus at the end of the day.
I got home before sunset! That's a 275km weekend of awesome weather, good times, and good friends. Bottle it up, I love that stuff.